How have you Impacted your Community

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2021/04/28
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“How can I better myself and the people around me?” is a question that’s on the mind of many people. National service is a way we can all experience personal growth and development, and give back to our communities and country at the same time. Serving our communities in times of need is essential for repair. There are many values that can be learned through national service that have a positive impact on the way we view ourselves and others. Through national service, we can ultimately unite the people within our communities together. People should make an effort to volunteer for national service more in order to bring unity to a dividing society.

Volunteering for national service benefits the communities in need of help. “In the end, the vision of national service as public work is an important one, since it does register most directly with the public’s sense that national service is about completing projects that advance the interests of communities”(Frumkin and Jastrzab 188). During times of natural disaster, the military is always one of the first to respond. When hurricane Harvey hit Texas, I was in my initial entry training for the military in San Antonio, Texas. As I scrolled through social media, I saw pictures of my battle buddies that I had gone through basic training with deployed to the areas that got hit the hardest. These soldiers were cooks in the Army and they provided food and water to the communities and families that lost everything to the hurricane. Their response to this time of tragedy had a great impact on the restoration of not only the community, but the faith of the people within it as well. The military’s ensurance of safety that they provide to communities in times of need is essential the repair and restoration of those affected.

On top of the restoration of communities in times of need, there are many important core values to be learned through national service. “Community service construction projects boost the participant’s self-esteem and create stronger linkages to the public at large leading to further positive outcomes”(Torbett and Tadar 108). The efforts put forth by the military not only have a positive impact on the communities affected, but the people who volunteered as well. When I first started my training, my drill sergeants constantly reinforced the fact that my battle buddies and I had all made the decision to become a part of something bigger than ourselves. Personally, my service in the military has provided a substantial amount of fulfillment to my life along with many other attributes that have made me the person I am today. “When we spoke with program managers and thought leaders in the national service movement, one of the most consistently articulated visions for national service was that it promotes the personal development of its participants through exposure to a wide range of perspectives while providing members with opportunities to take on leadership roles”(Frumkin and Jastrzab 107). Throughout my training and career in the military, I’ve been put into many leadership positions that have strengthened my quality as a leader. During my advanced individual training, I was put in the position of taking command over the 200 fellow soldiers I was training with. Although it was an incredibly demanding task for a 19-year-old, it provided me with many valuable lessons on leadership that I’ve been able to look back on and use in both current and future roles as a leader in society. The values learned through service in the military are incredibly beneficial to the personal growth of the members within it and the communities impacted by it.

A sense of community can be built within society through national service as well. “The connection to community outcome is based on the perception of respondents regarding their feelings of attachment to their community, the frequency that they think about how larger political issues affect their community, their awareness of ways to meet public needs in the community, their sense of being able to make a difference in their community, and their willingness to try to make a difference in their community”(Frumkin and Jastrzab 137). As I continue to meet more and more people throughout my life, I’ve found that when I meet another person, who has or is currently serving in the military, we instantly share a bond due to our common experience of national service. The majority of the friends I’ve met attending SMCC have been veterans because of the community we’ve built here at the school. Veterans of the military all share a common background of national service and a passion for sacrifice for his/her country. This mutual understanding of what service in the military means makes it easy for veterans to instantly create a bond between each other, thus creating the veteran community that resides at SMCC today. If everyone were to have this common experience of national service, we could build more connected communities within our country.

Although many people may want to serve his/her country and give back to their communities, there are a lot of restrictions that come with national service that affect their decisions. One factor to this decision making process is the amount of time that needs to be invested towards service. The minimum amount of time needed to serve in the military is 8 years. Many high school graduates are set on attending college after graduation and feel that serving in the military will delay their progress in reaching their academic goals. Another factor that may hinder someone’s ability to serve in the military is his/her medical history. “Background Respiratory diseases such as asthma may affect individuals’ fitness for military service”(Miedinger 224). On top of asthma, hearing, dental problems and prior injuries to any upper/lower extremity could disqualify an individual from serving in the military. The list of medical problems that could disqualify someone from serving in the military is extensive, which makes it harder to enlist for these people who want to serve.

Although factors such as time and medical issues may hinder someone’s ability to join the military, there are options that could allow him/her to join even with the hindrances stated. If someone felt that joining the military could affect his/her time or academic aspirations, they could enlist in the Reserve or National Guard. Depending on the military occupational specialty selected, joining the Reserve or National Guard would only set him/her back a semester of college. On top of the minor setback, the military will also help him/her financially while in school. When joining the Reserve or National Guard, your only obligations to the military are 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks of annual training, which is usually held during most college’s summer break. For people with medical hindrances, the military grants medical waivers for injuries and other medical issues if you’re able to prove your ability to perform certain exercises and tasks. For example, while I was in basic combat training, one of my fellow soldiers had a form of autism, but he was granted a mental health waiver, which enabled to join and he ended graduating with the rest of his battle buddies. Although there are many factors that affect one’s ability or desire to join, there are many options and possibilities to explore before a conclusion should be made.

If someone were to find that their ability or desire to join the military isn’t an option, even after further possibilities were explored, he/she could join a variety of volunteer programs as well. A program such as AmeriCorp offers a variety of possibilities to give back to communities that have been affected by natural disaster. AmeriCorp members are trained and sent to these affected communities for up to a year in order to help build and reconstruct houses for people who were hit by hurricanes, tornadoes and many other forms of natural disaster. Members who serve in the AmeriCorp program are also given a grant toward tuition upon completion of his/her contract. If time were still a factor, one could volunteer at their local Boys and Girls Club of America to provide care to the young people of America. No matter the extent at which someone were to volunteer, he/she could still experience the benefits of helping his/her community in a time of need, personal growth, and the unity of his/her community as a whole.

People should make an effort to volunteer for national service more in order to bring unity to a dividing society. In times of need, communities need to volunteer and come together in order to help one another. Many values can be learned and a better understanding of oneself and the people around us can be developed through volunteering. We can ultimately function and perform better as a society through national service. I urge you to explore your options related to national service and find out a way to give back that works best for you. Whether it be serving active duty in the military or volunteering for the National Guard or Reserve Component for a weekend/month and 2 weeks/year, any contribution to society you can give will not only have a positive impact on yourself, but the community you’re a part of as well.

Works Cited

Bryer, Thomas A. “Conclusion.” National Service and Volunteerism: Achieving Impact in Our Communities, Lexington Books, 2015, pp. 203–204.

Frumkin, Peter, and JoAnn Jastrzab. Serving Country and Community Who Benefits from National Service? Harvard University Press, 2010.

Miedinger, D., et al. “Asthma Tests in the Assessment of Military Conscripts.” Clinical & Experimental Allergy, vol. 40, no. 2, Feb. 2010, pp. 224–231. EBSCOhost

Torbett, Dennis O., and Tadar Muhammad. “Chapter 9: HBI Mentoring.” National Service and Volunteerism: Achieving Impact in Our Communities, Lexington Books, 2015, pp. 108–108.

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How Have You Impacted Your Community. (2021, Apr 28). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/how-have-you-impacted-your-community/

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