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NEWS | Oct. 17, 2016

Army Reserve Soldier volunteers to help children in Honduras

By Sgt. 1st Class Brent Powell 335th Signal Command (Theater)

East Point, Georgia – Today’s Army is a force consisting entirely of volunteers.  Among those ranks is one Army Reserve Soldier who continues to foster that spirit of volunteerism in his civilian life.

Pfc. Joshua Anderson, a service desk technician at the 335th Signal Command (Theater) headquarters here, and a native of Woodstock, Georgia, recently volunteered to help a group of children during a trip to Siguatepeque, Honduras with several members of his church.

“The purpose of the mission was to host two English summer camps for local children and to assist in the refurbishing of some of the living spaces in the seminary there,” said Anderson.  “This was the second year that members of my church have traveled to Honduras, and I felt that this was something I wanted to be a part of and participate in.”

During the first six-days of the trip, Anderson and the other 10 volunteers hosted two children’s camps where they taught basic English to more than 185 local children from seven-years-old and up.  “We taught the kids basic English phrases like stand up and sit down, and they actually caught on very quickly,” said Anderson. “The biggest challenge was just getting the kids to pay attention in class.  They are so full of energy, and they just want to go all the time.  It was sometimes hard to keep them focused on the task, but when they did it went really smoothly and was very rewarding.”

The time spent with the children wasn’t all work. Each day, the volunteers also spent time playing various games with them such as indoor volleyball and the very popular game of soccer.

The next two days of the trip were spent on refurbishing and beautification projects.  “We took all the cabinets out of the living quarters there and completely sanded them down and re-stained them,” said Anderson, who stocks shelves at a local retail store in his civilian career.  “We also replaced the carpet in the seminary and did some work in the flower garden there clearing out weeds and things like that.”

Anderson, who joined the Army Reserve in January of 2015, seemed to enjoy the opportunity to work with the local Honduran people, but the time he spent with the kids seemed to be his favorite part.  “I enjoyed my time with the kids very much,” he said.  “They all seemed very thankful that we were there.  They did learn a lot and they were actually able to speak a little bit of English by the time we left.”

This wasn’t Anderson’s first time volunteering, he had previously traveled to Randolph, New York a few years ago, and spent time working with a youth summer camp there renovating a nursery with members of his church.

“I feel like being in the position we are as a country, where we are able to help out others who aren’t as fortunate as us, is something we should all be doing,” he said.  “We need to help out people when and where we can.  If you have the time and ability to help others, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s something small or large, you should take action and help.  Spread the love.”

Anderson’s volunteer work has already been noticed by his coworkers.

“Private Anderson is an outstanding, hard-charging young Soldier, who comes to work with a great twice the citizen attitude,” said Chief Warrant Officer Peter Spellman, native of Freeport, Illinois, and officer-in-charge of the telecommunications branch, 335th SC (T).  “I think him volunteering his time to a worthy cause shows what being a citizen-Soldier is all about, and it reflects great credit upon himself, the 335th Signal Command and the Army Reserve.”