“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandi. I demonstrated this quote during the service project with the veterans for Thanksgiving. It was an eye wakening experience.
For my service project I spent part of my Thanksgiving with the veterans. This day began by students bringing in a dish for the veterans. I did my part by bringing in ham. I was originally supposed to bring in turkey, but due to my mother not wanting to help me cook the ham, I had to settle for ham. I figured, why not do ham, nobody else is bringing it and you can’t have thanksgiving dinner without ham, you just can’t do that. So I brought ham and everyone loved it, they were referring to me as “the ham guy.” Just being around that environment made me upset and thankful at the same time. It made me upset because since 9th grade I would have people come talk at my high school all of the time about joining the military and how good it is and so forth. When I see these people that some have slight mental disabilities from being in the environment that they were in and risk so much for our country and once they have done their justice, they come back home to this… Seeing them like that made me think, why are the people that are protecting us, giving the chance for America to be America living like this under these conditions? I believe they should be one of the most protected and cared for people in our nation. It also made me feel thankful because I see what others are going through. Knowing how much better my situations are, it makes me appreciate the stuff I have and not ever take it for granted.
The impact this experience had on my educational wisdom path was that it is bigger than me, so I have to continue to push myself and work hard inside school. There is people that actually care about how you are doing, even people that don’t know you and they are on your side. So that I don’t let them nor myself down, I have to continue to stay on track with my school work. It felt good talking to the veterans and telling them about myself. It really started a good conversation that lasted the entire time I was there. I remember one guy enlightened me about engineering (my major) and told me things that I now take into consideration. I and he went off on why I chose engineering and it led to talking about cars and speakers. Luckily, he was a fan of car audio also, and I was able to teach him a few things I knew about car audio.
I think our giving showed them that there are people out there that have a good heart and appreciate what was done for America. Without us, who knows if those good people would even had a thanksgiving meal? I think it had a mental and physical impact on these people. The physical was that they had so much food that it would take them until Christmas to lose all the food. The mental was that people care. Like how some people did not even get a chance to go home and spend time with their family only to come and celebrate the holiday around veterans.
I did not worry about taking pictures at the veteran’s home because pictures come and go, you can lose them easily. The mental picture and memories I built while there, I will always remember and cherish; cherish how I made an impact on somebody’s life and made someone’s holiday a good one and one to remember.