Inside the Gates: Honoring the oath to serve
"Being in the military, we take the oath to serve and protect," Airman First Class Evan Keough with the 732nd Air Mobility Squadron said. "I believe through volunteering, we are fulfilling the serving part."
One day a week on his day off, Keough donates five to six hours of his time serving at the Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage.
"In high school I studied culinary," Keough said. "I went to a trade school and have always found my calling in the kitchen. I researched different soup kitchens in the area and I like the mission of this one."
As a military member, volunteering outside the gates isn't mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
"A lot of our volunteer time has to be done off duty," Tech Sgt. Adrian Romo with the 732nd Air Mobility Squadron said. "It shows what kind of character Airman Keough has because [he] takes a lot of his off time to go on these volunteer opportunities. He's also just started school. So, he's juggling work, volunteer time and furthering his education."
Whether working on base or at the soup kitchen, Keough gives 100 percent at each.
"Evan is amazing," Hope Center volunteer coordinator Cynthia Skidmore said. "He's one of the greatest volunteers I've ever met. Every time he comes in, he gives 100 percent. He makes full benefit of his time here."
During this holiday season, Keough went above and beyond. While serving food, he noticed some people needed more than just a hot meal.
"During service I noticed a lot of the people coming in for meals didn't have adequate clothing," he said. "With the colder temperatures here, I just wondered what happens afterwards. What happens after they have their hot meal here and have to go back outside."
On his own time, Keough started a clothing drive. He made boxes, signs, and wrapped them in holiday paper and placed them throughout the military base.
"I just wondered how some of these people were staying warm," Keough said. "I know we all have cluttered closets, so I thought it was a good idea to get that started. It does a little good for all parties. It helps people clean out their closets and helps those who need clothes what they need to survive through the winter."
"He always goes above and beyond," Skidmore said. "We just love having him here."
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
MORE INSIDE THE GATES: