Stepping Into Your Community: Video Transcript

Woody Stroud (Miami, 1963) [retired banker and member of the United States Air Force/Air National Guard]: Since I left Miami, I have become a banker and a member of the Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard. Each of those roles also encouraged me to be involved civically within my community. The Ohio Air National Guard led me, at one point in my life, to volunteer to go to Nicaragua and participate, very briefly, but still to participate as part of a force from the United States to go out and advise relative to the reconstruction of areas in Nicaragua, which had been damaged by hurricanes and by earthquakes.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my participation with the United States Air Force, as a retiree from the Air Force and as a retired banker, has been the opportunity to work with a group called 'Heroes Welcoming Heroes.' So many folks from Miami over the years have participated in the Armed Forces in a variety of different service activities.

Indeed, I recently had dinner with a young man who is a Miami senior, who is a little older than most students. This fellow is 27 years old, is a veteran of Iraq, and actually is going to Miami as a somewhat older student on the GI bill. He's able to take advantage of the military's, Department of Defense's assistance for those who are veterans in that area. And 'Heroes Welcoming Heroes' is a project, which engages us as community members in showing our appreciation for those who sacrifice for us presently.

I think Miami, as a total experience, encourages this kind of community contribution and participation, and I certainly encourage any of you who expect to go into business or into social services or into government to think in terms of stepping outside of your career and looking at ways that you might give back to the community as an element of appreciation for the community and what the community has done for you, as I've done for what the community has done for me, but also because it's a matter of growth.

[April 2011]