HONOLULU, Hawaii -- When Staff Sgt. Paul Navarrete was growing up in Naples, Florida, service to his community was already apart of his daily routine. Being brought up in single parent household, he understood early on how important it was to reach out and help those in need. His upbringing can be cited as his primary influence to provide service to his local community; this influence would continue to grow and flourish to and through his military career.
“Coming up in a household that didn’t really have much financial means, we had to find a lot of things to get involved with,” stated Navarrete, an Executive Assistant to Command Sgt. Maj. Eric McCray, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Finding balance between the military and finding the time to serve the community can be challenging, but its can also be twice as rewarding.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Brougher, the Asset Management Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, assigned to the 94th AAMDC has also dedicated time away from his career and family to serve the community.
“Volunteering for me as a Noncommissioned Officer is very important because I do take to heart the fact that we should extend our influence beyond our chain of command,” said Brougher. “I also believe that you should always give back to the community you live in; for me, what better way to give back to that community than to help guide and shape the lives of our youth.”
Brougher, a native of Beavercreek, Ohio, has served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. He has been volunteering his time prior to his service in the U.S. Army and has continued to serve since he enlisted. Some of his service included being a Den leader, Cubmaster, a Committee Chair and an Assistant District Commissioner for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America.
Although he has a lengthy resume in regards to community service, one of his greatest achievements was volunteering for the Special Olympics at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
“One of the most amazing events I’ve ever volunteered at, because these kids, they’re all heart,” said Brougher. “They love you because you’re there just cheering them on, it was an amazing experience.”
Navarrete has been in the U.S. Army for 10 years and has since made an impact on various communities he has served in thus far.
Here in Hawaii, he has participated in beach clean ups in conjunction with 808 clean up on the island of Oahu, gathering donations and supplies for River of Life Church and supporting 94th AAMDC with their needs in regards to community service.
In 2018 he was inducted into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club and has since doubled his efforts in community service with the SAMC.
One of the many important Army values is selfless service and by volunteering to serve the community you demonstrate this quality. Because of his selfless service, Navarrete received one of his greatest accomplishments to date.
Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital recognized him for financially sponsoring a child’s medical bills.
“He sponsored a child’s medical bills; to me that is the epitome of selfless service,” Brougher remarked.
Serving the nation comes with its challenges, but serving the community like Navarrete and Brougher can aid those you are serving in overcoming their challenges.
“You volunteering a little bit of your time could change one person, and that could change that persons whole outlook on something,” Navarrete stated.