DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - There are approximately 300 active duty Marines stationed at the MCLB Albany base right now. But though they are small in number, they are making a big impact on the community by their volunteerism.
All the Marines when they come aboard MCLB Albany, are urged to get involved in the South Georgia community.
"To give back to the community and build that relationship with your community. Volunteering helps," said Sgt. Christopher Alexander.
Sgt. Alexander, from Baltimore, is the president of the Single Marine Program, that pushes the Marines to become involved and volunteer.
"I believe that it helps with social skills," said Alexander. "Social skills and just other skills of life."
Master Sgt. Jeremy Singleton from Mobile is one of the base leaders in volunteering. One of his projects is mentoring second graders at International Studies Elementary.
"A couple of hours out of the week," said Singleton. "Once a week during the school year. We read to the kids, go over school work, play some games with them from time to time."
Sgt. Hope Timberlake of Cleveland volunteers on the color guard, honoring the flags at events. She likes to teach leadership and show the respect of the Marines with her performances.
"It takes a lot of discipline," said Timberlake. "You show leadership, basically understanding how to control and lead the Marines to your left and right."
One of the real volunteer go-getters on the base is our Military Hero nominee, Lt. Delany Bourlakov. She has appeared in several performances at Theatre Albany, singing and dancing.
All the Marines are invited to meet on Thursdays to talk about events and ways they can get involved in Albany and South Georgia.
"I think that when the Marines leave Albany, they are really going to go, 'hey, I learned some things regarding my M.O.S., regarding Albany, but I was also able to really connect in the community and take away knowing I made a difference,'" said Bourlakov.
Volunteering and involvement is something these Marines push every day to fellow Marines, to make sure the community knows they really are the few and the proud.
The Marines' usual stay at the Albany base is three years. And talking to them, they talked about the friends for a lifetime they made while stationed here.
Some very impressive young men and women all Americans can be proud of.