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BAMC volunteer continues service to community during pandemic

By Daniel J. Calderón | Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs | June 11, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

Dr. J. Sean Habina, a retired Army second lieutenant who volunteers at Brooke Army Medical Center, also gives her time delivering meals to military veterans across San Antonio.

“I enjoy doing this. I just don’t know what else is better than doing something good for other people,” Habina said. “Since I can’t be at BAMC right now, I just had to make sure I was getting out and doing something to help people.”

Habina has been unable to work as a BAMC volunteer, where she drives the caremobiles shuttling patients from the parking area to the main BAMC building and back again since COVID-19 safety protocols were implemented, but she wanted to continue helping members of the community. The organization she volunteers with, Wish for Our Heroes, provides assistance to active duty service members and military veterans in a variety of ways.

The meals are part of the organization’s outreach in response to the current pandemic. In San Antonio, the group is working with local restaurants to deliver meals to veterans who are in the group of people who are at higher risk for contracting the virus or have limited means to get meals on their own.

“For all of my life, I’ve had great respect for the men and women who help ensure our freedom,” said Thierry Burkle, the chef and owner of a restaurant that has been donating more than two dozen meals twice a week to local veterans. “I feel I owe it to the people who have had the courage to fight for me and for all of us to do something to help them in this time of need.

Burkle’s restaurant donates steak dinners, chicken dinners, and other meals to the veterans. Habina and the other Wish volunteers deliver them directly to the veterans’ homes.

“They are so generous to donate these meals and we really appreciate the volunteers who bring them,” said Grover Theriot, a 95-year-old veteran who served in the Marshall Islands during most of his time during World War II. “All of the meals are our favorite.”

Throughout her career as an enlisted Airman, an Air Force officer, and as a member of the Texas State Guard, Habina has always believed in service over self.

“The stories these veterans share of their duty, jobs, and experiences during the war are beyond belief and enthralling,” she said. “I feel I am the lucky one to be able to give back in such a small way to these heroes and be in their presence.”