Let's be an all-volunteer force

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Well, we made it through the holiday season. Hopefully we have all reset and are ready to rock and roll this year.

By now we should be well into fulfilling the New Year's resolutions that we set in place to improve ourselves. I'm sure you are hitting the gym more or maybe just starting to. Maybe you signed up for a class or two to improve your education or skills. These are all great resolutions, and I applaud your efforts!

But lean in here, and let's talk ... on the down-low. I hope you've made a resolution to volunteer more. I mean, it certainly looks great on a performance report, but remember, this isn't all about you.

My point is that it can have tremendous impact on you and the community (I know ... win-win ... right?).

Volunteer work demonstrates your commitment to work for the benefit of others. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Volunteers serve as first responders, by delivering meals, as dog-walkers, by assisting the elderly, as promoters of education and the arts, by building homes ... the list goes on.

Volunteering provides an opportunity to learn new skills and gain new work experience from what you do on a day-to-day basis. It also allows you to practice the skills you already have in a new setting.

There are volunteer opportunities for just about anything you can think of and just about the same when it comes to how much time you have to give. Here's a thought: we live in an area that has thousands of elderly retirees. Take 30 minutes out of your busy schedule on a Saturday, or heck, even on the way home tonight, to sit with one and have a discussion. The amount of joy you could bring will amaze you, I promise.

As Airmen we have an incredible toolkit of skills, abilities, ideas and manpower that organizations can use to their benefit.

Work for a cause that interests you or has helped you personally in the past. I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. We, as Air Force members and human beings, need to take care of each other. Feel good about yourself, build self-esteem, self-confidence and serve those less fortunate. Be a leader and a wingman, and bring an Airman along with you for the ride. Make a difference!