Wolf Pack, ROKAF volunteer at special needs center
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Wolf Pack Airmen spend one day each month giving back to the local community by volunteering their time alongside Republic of Korea Air Force members somewhere in or around Gunsan City, wherever help may be needed.
This month, 12 U.S. Air Force Airmen journeyed with their ROKAF counterparts to the Gunsan City Rehabilitation Center for special needs patients to assist the staff with cleaning the facility and to interact with the residents Jan. 22.
"This volunteer event is designed to foster relationships with the local community," said Tech. Sgt. Crystal Ballard, 8th Fighter Wing command chief executive assistant. "Every month we perform a different task. For example, this time we went to the rehabilitation center. In the past we have done community service on base, beautification projects, food preparations for local facilities and other community involvement. It just depends on what people need help with, and we will be there to support them."
Once the team of U.S. and ROKAF volunteers stepped off the bus, they were divided into groups to assist the center's staff with a variety of tasks. Teams helped with taking out trash, scrubbing down exercise equipment, removing furniture from living areas, and putting together art pieces with residents during an arts and crafts session.
"It was great being able to help the rehabilitation center as well as work side-by-side with ROKAF personnel," said Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Ceballos, 8th Operations Support Squadron wing scheduler. "I felt it was a personally rewarding and humbling experience, and I would encourage other Airmen to do it for future events."
Although there was a language barrier, U.S. and ROK forces stepped up to work together as a team to tackle all objectives set before them.
"This is my first time volunteering at this center, and it has been a very meaningful experience," said ROKAF Airman 1st Class Son, Tae Seon. "I'm glad I had this opportunity to spend time with the people here as well as work with the U.S. Air Force Airmen too."
After both teams of volunteers finished with their duties at the center, the group sat down together to enjoy a Korean-style meal in the cafeteria.
"It's not just about volunteering," said Ballard. "It's another chance to bond with our ROKAF partners and members of the Gunsan community."