WHY YOU VOLUNTEER - You volunteer because it helps others out. You don't do it for personal gain or to self-promote.
In 1996 after the Atlanta Olympic bombing the International Olympic Committee called for FL officers to volunteer for Olympic Security. The Olympic soccer games were being held in Miami. I took the challenge and headed south from Daytona Beach. I wish I could say it was a glorious assignment but it was extremely long summer hours in the Miami heat and humidity working at the Citrus Bowl. Our jobs were to work with the Metro-Date / Miami PD Bomb Unit securing the stadium and protecting the safety and security of the players and visitors. For six days we bunked on hospital beds in the First Aid station at the stadium. Remember, this was “volunteer” and I was taking vacation time from the PD back home. The point of this blog is to show that doing good things creates good things. From taking my own vacation time, helping out with nothing expected in return, here is what came of it.
I was eating breakfast with the men’s soccer team from The United Arab Emirates. Their Prince at the time (who is now the current President) Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan made an unexpected visit to the cafeteria tent in order show support for their team. He sat next to me and was intrigued by American Police. I had absolutely no idea the magnitude of who was sitting next to me. Before leaving he handed me the 14 ct gold pin in the pic above. Had I known that the family has a net worth of $150 billion, I would have at least asked for two pins! Lol
The next day a female Chinese soccer player broke her leg and needed to be transported to the hospital. This required an armed guard and I was chosen. While at the hospital, her translator was explaining to me that she was taken from her family at a very young age and “groomed” for soccer. She will be disciplined severely along with her family for “letting the team down.” Although “Xiang” and I had a language barrier, I could now see why she was more concerned of the back home punishment than she was in the pain of her broken leg. Made me thankful I lived in the USA.
Ate lunch with the women’s USA Soccer Team sitting next to Mia Hamm. Personally I was not a soccer fan and had no clue at the time she would be a two time gold medalist and two time FIFA Women’s Champion. Got a soccer ball signed by the USA Team and gave it to my cousin CJ who was a great soccer player in school at the time.
Learned that if you’re in the men’s room and a player fresh off the plane from Africa comes in to take a dump, leave immediately. I thought a cow had followed him in there. Guess it must be the diet over there. Even after coming out of the bathroom, the bomb dog I was working with kept a distance from me. I guess it was on my clothing. I always wondered if they had to retire that dog after the Olympics.
I met a lot of great people that worked for Federal Agencies and the police departments in the area. Some of which I still talk to today. These contacts really helped me develop my career over the years as a police officer.
So, in closing, millennials and people who never want to help others. Look at the really cool things that can happen to you just for trying to be a team player.
The bottom line is volunteer and help others when asked. You never know what will come of it.
It was an absolutely great lifetime experience for me as a young police officer.