This week's prompt is brought to us by Jenn of Diary of a Dreamer. Jenn currently serves in the armed forces for the U.S. overseas and I'm so honored to know her and gotten to become friends with her via our shared memory keeping interests! Below is her vision for this week's prompt.
"Hello dear friends! Happy Memorial Day to you all.
I was super stoked when Mandy emailed me and asked me if I wanted to guest post for her for Memorial Day using the term Service, to which of course I instantly agreed!
This particular topic is very easy for me to share with you guys because I serve every day. I serve as an Air Traffic Control Operator for the US Army, I serve as a volunteer for Cancer Research events, and I serve as a photographer for my unit. Service can mean different things to different people, and each meaning can be as important as the next.
I enlisted into the U.S. Army at 18 years old and went to basic training a month after I graduated high school. Just like my older brother before me and other friends, I knew I wanted to serve in the US Military and do my part to help serve my country.
That's me, in 2011 I was deployed to Afghanistan with my unit to serve as an Air Traffic Control Operator in RC East, near Kabul. We controlled multi-national aircraft that were assisting with Operation Enduring Freedom against the terrorists. Our job was to get aircraft from one point to another, giving them alerts of other aircraft in their flight path, giving them a reassuring helping hand when the weather got bad, as well as assisting the medical helicopters when they needed to take off in an instant! Luckily, everyone in my unit came home together in 2012, whereas other people in my brigade weren't as lucky. This deployment served to create an unbreakable bind between the fifty some odd people in that unit. We knew we could rely on each other when it was needed, we knew that there would always be someone watching our backs, and it created unbreakable friendships that still stand to this day, even though we've spread all over the country and even into Europe and Korea.
Everyone enlisted for their own reasons, some, like me, do it because they want to serve their country and help make a difference. Call it super-patriotism I guess. Some people enlisted just to get out of their small town. Some people joined, hoping to turn their life around and make a difference that way. For whatever reason, for decades, people have enlisted in the US. Military. They take an oath to serve their country, to potentially go to war in countries that hate us with a passion, knowing that they might not come home. This is how we serve our community.
The other ways I serve people is through being the social media coordinator and a team captain for Relay for Life, and assistance event coordinator for the Breast Cancer 5K, as well as being the photographer for my unit. A lot of people all over the world have been effected by Cancer for many many years. At Relay for Life, we're walking to raise money for cancer research. I Relay for my best friend's mom who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2014, for a girl in high school whose father passed away our senior year, for a friend I met back in 2012 who had cancer, and for the people who have cancer right now and for those that lost their battle with cancer. We want to raise money for cancer research! To inspire cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to have Hope, to know that people care!
Another way I 'serve' is that I am the photographer for my unit, I photograph all of the events the unit has for free. I capture the memories and the camaraderie between the Service members of the unit and their families. I donate my time for my coworkers to give them good pictures at the Hail and Farewells, Promotion Ceremonies, Reenlistment Ceremonies, and even a Retirement Ceremony. I document the End of Rotation BBQ's where we present awards and celebrate another successful rotation of training NATO aviation allies.
Tomorrow I am combining my love of photography and my volunteering time to fund raise money for Relay for Life 2015 by hosting mini sessions with two other photographers in my area. We're hosting mini sessions for people in the community and all the proceeds go to Relay for Life happening on 06 June.
Thanks for stopping by to read my post on Service. How do you serve?"
Find Jenn Online:
Jenn McClure, Diary of A Dreamer
#ThisWeek | A weekly photo & story prompt for memory keepers originated by Mandy Elliott of Turquoise Avenue designed to encourage others to take a photograph and spend time creating a story based on the weekly theme. Together, in collaboration with other talented creatives, #ThisWeek is a free, fun, and inspiring challenge allowing you to join in any time, any way that best fits your schedule. Play along by sharing on social media under #hashtagthisweek or by linking up via TurquoiseAve.com.