This month we are excited to honor as Volunteer of the Month our humble warrior, Kevin Valentia. Often times for military personnel, as Kevin alludes to below, volunteering can be mandated as part of your service to the country. Kevin uses the phrase “voluntold” to describe this. But, as he shares it, from the moment he came to the beach he could tell AccesSurf was going to be a volunteer experience unlike any other.
Since he first came to us, Kevin has been all in. Last year he even completed our Advanced Key Leader Training, so that he can be a backup Key Leader in the swim zone. We have called on Kevin several times to fill in as Key Leader at swim, and he has always been there for us.
We’ll go ahead and turn it over to Kevin, show he can share his AccesSurf story in his own words.
It is such an honor to be recognized by the people I love and respect so much. While I have only been working with AccesSurf for about two years now, it feels like I have known some of the volunteers and participants for a lifetime.
When I received orders to Hawaii, I didn’t really know what to expect. I figured that I would just be hanging out on the beach when I was off work and never really thought I would start volunteering more than what I was “voluntold” to do. About two months into my time on the island I started working with the Single Marine Program. One of the guys that was with the SMP for a while told me that AccesSurf was the best event out there and that I needed to check it out. Fast forward two years later and now I am that guy selling this event to everyone. Even when DATB isn’t listed as an SMP event I can still manage to round up 20 to 30 other Marines just as, if not more, excited to volunteer as I am.
No matter how rough of a Friday night I had prior to DATB, I always wake up excited and hopeful that I’ll be able to create a fun and memorable experience for our AccesSurfer’s. AccesSurf is one of the greatest organizations that I have ever been a part of and it is truly an honor to be recognized by this amazing group of people.”