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Airmen give back

In the Air Force it is highly encouraged to volunteer and help the local community, including the homeless as much as possible.

In the Air Force it is highly encouraged to volunteer and help the local community, including the homeless as much as possible. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE S.C. -- When you get up in the morning, pull on your uniform, button up and check the mirror before you leave; do you think to yourself, "How am I going to make a difference today?"

As a photojournalist in the Air Force, I had the opportunity to follow two
Airmen to the homeless shelter. I was able to participate and witness the effect our Airmen have on the local community. These Airmen brought in pizzas, chicken wings, and care packages for every individual in the room.

Senior Airman Cristian Padilla, U.S. Air Forces Central Command A-6 check control program manager, student, and Staff Sgt. Keith Mathew-Kalina Martincic, AFCENT A6 computer support administrator, liked helping out the community. Once they heard about Did You Really Do Everything Kind Day a tradition started in Los Angeles on Feb. 02, 2012, the way they went about volunteering became a little bit more refined.

The day is named after Rob Dyrdek, a man who encouraged people in the city to help their neighbor, hold doors open for people and really think about doing everything kind that day.

The difference we can make is truly remarkable if we adhere to our core values, specifically service before self. Being in the military we constantly hear about honor and serving our country, but do we think about that in terms of serving our local community and the Airmen around us?

"I feel like I help folks out in my day-to-day job already, however it's not in the same realm as helping someone who cannot eat and is starving," said Martincic.

Even though Padilla has not been volunteering for as long as Martincic they both have said they have a momentum going they want to keep up.

"For next year I want to get a fundraiser going and really involve as many Airmen as I can in helping the community," said Martincic.

Padilla said how you do one thing is how you do everything. From how you treat people at work, to family and those in the community.

"I think it's important for people at Shaw to connect with the community because, even though we’re constantly moving, the community stays here, so what we leave behind is what they remember," said Padilla.