Guard volunteers take a swing at charity

Guard volunteers take a swing at charity

Marty Weibel takes a swing while wearing an Explosive Ordnance Disposal suit at Night-Ops V Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors here May 17.

 

PHOENIX –  It is not surprising that Soldiers who volunteer to serve their country also volunteer to serve their community. Arizona Army National Guard members volunteered their personal time at Night-Ops V – a Charity Golf Tournament to benefit Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors here May 17.

Jared Allen, defensive end for the Chicago Bears, founded the charity to provide financial assistance and support to wounded warriors by building handicap accessible homes to suit their individual needs.

“It’s awesome to have the Guard’s presence here,” Allen said. “I appreciate them volunteering their time to connect with our participants, share stories, answer questions and show them an authentic example of the life of a Soldier.”

Two dozen Guard members volunteered more than 200 personal hours setting up mock Army scenarios at six different golf holes for participants of the celebrity golf tournament. Golfers wore camouflage, ran with ruck sacks, and low crawled in-between golf swings.

Army Capt. Mark Bulinski, a staff engineer officer with the 253rd Engineer Battalion, said, “I got more involved with this organization last year after meeting the true heroes they help.”

Bulinski shared that he struggled after an extremely difficult deployment to Afghanistan. Volunteering for Homes for Wounded Warriors gave him a change in perspective.

“After meeting the Soldiers and Marines this organization helps, I completely and immediately reconsidered my attitude, and realized how fortunate I was to come home basically
uninjured,” he said.

“Volunteering as a unit or company is a great teambuilding exercise and reinforces esprit de corps,” said Army Maj. Jennifer Nemcek, a plans and operations officer for the joint staff.

Nemcek said twice as many Guard members volunteered this year compared to last year.

“It is a great opportunity for our service members to assist a charity that benefits our brothers and sisters in arms,” Nemcek said. “We are ambassadors to our community so it is important for the community to see us giving back to others.”