Veterans protect our country and serve as heroes and role models to the everyday citizen. Some veterans, like Army Officer Fernando Guadalupe, give back to their local communities through charity and outreach, proving their long-term devotion to America and its citizens.
Fernando Guadalupe is a highly-decorated officer and Army leader with decades of service under his belt and a long list of impressive distinctions. He’s served the Army as Brigade Commander, Operations Officer, Adjunct Instructor, and Colonel among others, conducting numerous combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. In his career, he specialized in emerging channels and developing topics, earning the titles of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Operations Subject Matter Expert as well as Central and South America Geopolitical Subject Matter Expert.
He’s a regular instructor and speaker, publishing findings from his experiences in periodicals and medical journals across the country. And in his spare time, Fernando Guadalupe turns to charities and outreach programs to help strengthen his local community.
“Volunteering in your community doesn’t take much, and there are plenty of organizations to get involved in,” says Fernando Guadalupe. “When veterans give back, it really sets an example to citizens and encourages them to do more for their society.”
Veterans can volunteer with shelters for people or work shifts at soup kitchens; they can simply interact with other citizens at events and gatherings, too, proving that not all volunteer work has to be demanding.
Society benefits from volunteer programs like Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels, which give veterans the opportunity to perform complex tasks like building homes or simple ones like serving meals to a neighbor in need.
“People often use the term ‘hero’ to describe men and women in service,” says Fernando Guadalupe. “When citizens see their heroes giving back in their local communities, it inspires them to get involved and to build relationships outside their homes. That’s good for everybody.”
Fernando Guadalupe is a longtime sponsor and member of World Vision Charity, which is a Christian-based humanitarian organization helping impoverished people in local communities. In addition, Mr. Guadalupe has worked for years with the Knights of Columbus, helping them spread charity, unity, and fraternity in local communities.
Some veterans may have a harder time adjusting to civilian life than their comrades and may shy away from volunteering because of it (or a number of other related reasons). For veterans who find it difficult to transition back into day-to-day activities, there are sponsored programs available to help acclimate veterans. These include the American Legion, AMVETS, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the National Association of American Veterans (NAAV) among others.
“There are too many ways for veterans to give back for them to skip out; too many opportunities to make a tremendous impact in their community,” says Fernando Guadalupe.