MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
It all started bright and early on a recent Saturday morning, just shy of the first day of spring. When Lindsay Monaghan woke her husband, Sgt. Shaun Monaghan, to walk dogs for the Humane Society in New Bern, North Carolina, the couple had no idea that one day of giving would spark an interest in volunteering that would open the door to a whole new world for the Monaghan family.
And before the new spring was over, the New Bern Military Alliance would recognize the Monaghan family for their volunteer efforts and impact in the local community by selecting the family as the Military Family of the Quarter. The Monaghans were awarded during a luncheon at the New Bern Golf and Country Club, June 9, 2017.
“We volunteer because we care about the community,” said Shaun. “The community gives a lot to you. You want to make sure you do what you can to help them be a better community.”
At the ceremony, members of the New Bern Alliance thanked the family for their contributions and for setting a positive example for others to follow.
“It’s knowing that you’re not just going to live your life, but you’re going to get out there and make an impact on somebody else’s life,” said Shaun. “Whether it be to help somebody specifically or, for example, how the humane society teaches people to adopt dogs that have had a bad life and maybe make their life a little bit better.”
Shaun and Lindsay appreciate the New Bern community’s military-friendly efforts to host events for service members.
It’s not surprising that Shaun took so quickly to public service. As a Marine, Shaun is an intermediate level ordnance instructor teaching hundreds of Marines at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Lindsay, Shaun’s wife, is no stranger to volunteering either. Alone, she has volunteered 100 hours at the dental clinic.
“You don’t realize how many people appreciate it,” said Lindsay, a former U.S. Army motor transportation operator. “We don’t volunteer for the recognition, but it feels good when somebody comes up to thank you for your time and tells you how you made their day.”
Lindsay has volunteered as a medical assistant for approximately 300 hours at New Bern’s Merci Clinic, a volunteer-staffed clinic. Lindsay recalls one patient in particular whose gratitude stood out to her.
“A lady came in who was having a really bad day,” said Lindsay. “She was not happy at all and started crying.”
Lindsay listened intently to the distraught woman and kept giving her positive reassurance.
“By the end of our intake, she was telling me how thankful she was and how grateful she was that I was here,” said Lindsay. “It made me feel like I really helped her with a few kind words and being there just listening to her.”
While recollecting special moments during the ceremony about their volunteering journey, Shaun and Lindsay agreed the ceremony was both moving and unforgettable.
“You wake up every day and volunteer then go home and feel good about it,” said Shaun. “You may not think or realize that the community itself is so thankful.”
These days, says Lindsay, Shaun is the one waking her up early on Saturdays saying “Come on, we’ve got to go volunteer!”