Volunteer typist Mary Dobbins says, “I was taught at a young age to help people. Volunteering is helping people. In 2007, I learned about VVWP. As a writer, I was drawn to the idea of therapeutic writing. As a child of a World War II veteran, I was drawn to helping veterans. The opportunity presented itself in 2012 to become a typist for the project. I was thrilled to find a way to use my skills to help veterans. As a typist, I am able to assist the authors in telling their stories – prose or poetry. Volunteering for VVWP is the way I have found to give back to those who served our country.”
“The combat medic’s duty is to preserve life: on the battlefield and in peace time,” wrote Shon Pernice. “I want to continue that duty through a Veterans’ Voices writing group. I may not have bandages and IV fluids, but my new tools are pens, paper, computers and the stories of wounded heroes. In 2017, I started journaling my flashbacks, nightmares and events from the war. Creating word pictures from the thoughts in my head has helped me. It started out as therapy, but now it’s a mission. I want to give my brothers in arms some relief from the psychological prison that we are in.”
I had something to give, but did not know what. I did not have a lot of money or other goods, but I did have time. So, it is time that I put to good use, by helping others. By donating time, I discovered that I had a lot to give, more than others that I know. I got a lot back. I made many new friends. I found that I could put a smile on someone’s face by helping them find the help they needed. I learned a lot as a volunteer! I don’t need a lot of money or material possessions to help someone in need. I have what money cannot buy. I have time and time well spent. I feel good about myself and about others, so as a volunteer, I am proud to be one. If you do not have a lot of money or goods, but have the time, you, too, can be a volunteer and see the good that comes of it. Just like the Army, “Be all that you can be.” Become a volunteer and you will be an Army of one! Bill Burns, died June 1, 2004. He was a volunteer at the Dallas VA Hospital with over 3,000 hours of service and was awarded a Volunteer of the Year award for 2003.