JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —
A logistics planner from the 502nd Logistic Readiness Squadron was recently awarded the 2016 Air Education and Training Command NAACP Roy Wilkinson Renowned Service Award for volunteerism.
The award honors military members and Defense Department civilian employees who have supported the DOD mission or overseas contingency operations, or whose attributes epitomize the qualities and core values of their respective military service. For Tech. Sgt. Daniel Harrington, 502nd LRS, he hopes the award will shine a light on the importance of finding a worthy cause to support and working to help make other’s lives better.
“I think it's important to volunteer and give to the others because it is our duty as citizens,” said Harrington, who has served in the Air Force for 16 years. “No matter what your background is, we have to take care of each other and our community. It goes to the heart of our Air Force core value of "Service before Self."
Throughout the year, Harrington co-chaired two African-American Cultural Association scholarship banquets, which provided scholarships to more than 12 high school students, planned events for the annual Joint Base San Antonio Women’s History Month observance and coached several youth sports teams.
“I don't know what exact things that I did that made me stand out amongst the other nominees, but I really enjoyed working with the African American Heritage and Women's History Month Committees,” he said. “Bringing awareness to the contributions made by these two groups in government and in particular, the Department of Defense, was amazing,” Harrington said.
Balancing professional, personal and volunteering duties is not an easy feat, but family support makes it possible, according to Harrington’s wife, Master Sgt. Enden Harrington, 326th Training Squadron military training instructor.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Master Sgt. Harrington, who also volunteers frequently in committees around JBSA and the local San Antonio area. “He does many different things in the community such as coaching youth sports, which sets a good example for our children. We want them to understand that they are blessed and everyone is not as fortunate as they are, and it is important for them to learn how to give and sacrifice for someone else.”
For Tech. Sgt. Harrington, volunteering is a part of his duty as an Airman and a person and he encourages others to find something to dedicate their time, whether it be volunteering to do something new and outside of their comfort zone or using their talents to assist someone else.
“I think people should get involved in something that they are passionate about,” he said. If passion is not there it becomes work, but if passion is there it involves a sense of pride and duty.”
In the future, Harrington looks forward to possibly coaching more frequently and working with youth to encourage them to set and achieve goals beyond their current circumstances.
“I really enjoy coaching and working with the youth,” he said. “I've looked into the 'Troops to Teachers' program and that is something I'm really considering pursuing once I take the uniform off.”