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Service leaders in the community, nation, and world help answer the question “Why do you serve?”

Original post at http://www.andrewdwelch.com/2010/03/service-leaders-in-community-nation-and.html.

Six weeks ago I started a regular Monday segment at www.andrewdwelch.com that features personal thoughts and reflections on service, written (usually) by those who serve. I get a number of questions about the segment, so decided that I would discuss the idea a bit and recap the stories told since we got underway (instead of running a new post this week). As I explained in an early post

I have been mindful of several notions as I write about service, leadership, and innovation on this blog. First is that (as I heard the Coast Guard’s Admiral Pappdiscuss once in a speech) “there are heroes in our midst,” and second, that service is something that comes in many forms. Sometimes it is done in a classroom, sometimes it is done in a uniform, sometimes it is done in a hospital, and most times it is done in places and ways that are neither glamorous nor easily recognized. With those principles in mind, I am seeking to answer the question “why do you serve” in a regular segment here. My hope is that these very personal accounts will tell the very important and meaningful story of how those among us are doing extraordinary things to serve their communities, their nation, and in some cases humanity the world over — that service to others is so important because:

1. It is good for you;

2. It is good for those around you; and

3. It is good for those who you serve.

We’ll hear from educators, scientists, community workers, doctors, clergy, and more in the future.

Since getting underway, of course, I have expanded to include a few pieces written by me, rather than first person accounts. The idea, at any rate, is to highlight many stories and varieties of service in the coming weeks. I’d like to shine a spotlight on the good things that others are doing, and, perhaps, encourage newcomers to do the same.

I hope you’ll get in touch with me if you would like to write, or if you know of someone who has a good story worth telling. I’ve listed past stories, as well as some other profiles in service type posts that were the early inspiration for this idea, below so that you can get a flavor for the project.

Steve Pegram, Emergency Manager and USCG Auxiliarist, answers the question “Why do you serve?”

Jon Hemler, medical school student on a mission, answers the question “Why do you serve?”

Colin and Alma Powell take on the high school dropout challenge, and then answer the question, “Why do you serve?”

Red Cross volunteer Lorraine Nordlinger answers many calls, and then answers the question “Why do you serve?”

Rachel Polish, Coast Guard Reservist, answers the question “why do you serve?”

W. Samuel Sadler ’61, a hero in our midst, receives Alumni Medallion at The College of William and Mary

“Director of Operations blog” reinforces relationship between USCG and professional mariners

Haitian Mother and Child Reunited Aboard USS Nassau

Education is the unique province of society that raises the bar of what is possible — saluting teachers on Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service

Leadership in the 21st Century: Learning from Admiral Allen’s “iCommandant” Coast Guard blog

Thank you for reading, and to those the world over — wherever you do your good work — thank you for your service!

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Andrew D Welch

Thanks, Ryan. I will definitely be hitting you up for a post of your own, but want to get a few from outside of our USCG backyard before I feature another Coastie. Let me know if you’re interested!