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NEWS | Dec. 5, 2012

Everyone has a story: Resolute Warrior demonstrates power of giving

By Sgt. Edwin J. Rodriguez 7th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT EUSTIS, Va. - She was lying in bed Veteran's Day weekend, after a recent surgery, hoping the pain in her knee would subside so her life could to get back to normal. Unable to do much but focus on recovery, the only thing that she could do was think.

One of things that Spc. Rosie Navarro, transportation coordinator with the 382nd Transportation Theater Opening Element, Special Troops Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, thought about was what she could do to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

According to Navarro, her mother taught her the value of putting others before herself, and she brought that with her to the Army, giving other Soldiers an example how selfless service starts from within.

"In high school, my mother kept me focused on the right path," said Navarro. "I have been volunteering my whole life, and I love to keep myself busy by giving back to others."

Navarro's volunteering efforts started in high school with stage productions and Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. After joining the Army in 2006, she pursued volunteer opportunities with on-post Special Olympics at Fort Hood and with the Family Readiness Group and Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers while in Korea. When she arrived at Fort Eustis in 2011, she donated her time to the FRG and Child Youth and School Services.

She knew she couldn't let her injured knee stand in the way of helping families affected by Hurricane Sandy. This passion to serve others prompted Navarro to approach her section officer with an idea about how best to help families in the North.

"I cleared my idea with 1st Lt. Stephanie Smith (transportation officer with the company) and then schedule a meeting with Lt. Col. Noah Cloud (STB commander)," said Navarro. "He really liked the idea, which got the ball started."

Navarro decided to hold a friendly competition between companies in the battalion to see who could collect the most donations for people in need, with an added incentive: the winning company would be permitted to report to work later than normal.

"I asked for canned foods and nonperishable items, cleaning supplies and clothes," said Navarro. "For those who donated, I gave them something back in the form of cookies and beverages."

Navarro's coordination resulted in collecting almost 300 pounds of food and clothing, which was donated to the Food Bank of Virginia before Thanksgiving. Navarro and other volunteers packed up all the goods in boxes and delivered them to the bank, which promised to pass on the goods to families most in need in the New York-New Jersey area, said Navarro.

Although volunteering has slowed down for Navarro since her injury, she continues to do what comes natural to her, and assures the Soldiers in her battalion that she will continue to conduct more donation drives.

"This is my morale builder and makes me happy," said Navarro. "I get more gratitude from giving than getting anything in return."