HAVELOCK, N.C. -- As a member of the armed forces, service members spend countless hours protecting Americans and their freedom. In the same manner, military members also dedicate their time to uplifting and rebuilding their local community.
Among the number of individuals who volunteer in the community, Petty Officer 1st Class Anacleto De La Garza and his family dedicated more than 200 hours to support the Havelock community. For their efforts, the Havelock Military Affairs Committee awarded the family with the Havelock Military Family of the Quarter Award during a ceremony in Havelock, Jan 27.
“It is important to know that military personnel are willing to go out and assist the community whenever there is a need,” said De La Garza, a lab technician with the Naval Health Clinic at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “The opportunities to volunteer are endless and with every minute spent helping the community we are cultivating a change.”
The De La Garza family has volunteered and assisted with a variety of organizations and events to include: Cherry Point’s Breast Cancer 5K Color Run, the Veteran Services Association 2015 Veteran’s Day Parade, the Annunciation Catholic Church Daily Bread and the 25th Scroogefest Arts and Crafts Festival.
“I started volunteering back in 2009, assistant coaching with my sons little league baseball team,” said De La Garza. “When I moved I started volunteering here and in the Camp Lejeune area.”
The De La Garza family feels humbled to have received the award and intends to continue supporting the community.
“De La Garza is doing what I consider the most important aspect of leadership and that is leading by example,” said Master Chief Nathan Whiddon, the command master chief at Cherry Point’s Naval Health Clinic. “His actions directly influence all of his shipmates, but especially the young sailors within the command. They can look to De La Garza and recognize that there is more to being a Sailor than just doing your ‘day job,’ being a part of the community is about contributing to that community, and De La Garza and his family are great examples of what that really means.”