JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. - Senior Airman James Baynard, a personnel manager with Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling's Security Services department, was recently recognized with a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for his work on and off base from July 2008 to March 2012. He was put up for the medal by his peers and has been hailed as a prime example to service members everywhere.
Baynard, who has been in the Air Force for a little more than four years, is a native of Sterling, Va. To date, he's provided more than 1,000 hours of community service to JBAB and numerous organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. His efforts include organizing holiday activities, bake sales and fundraisers for fellow service members; providing a mentorship to children at nearby Leckie Elementary School; speaking to kids about the dangers of drugs at JBAB's Child Development Centers and Youth Center; assisting the Southeast Washington, D.C. Soup Kitchen and working with various local chapters of the American Red Cross.
His contributions extend overseas, as well. Baynard served in Balad, Iraq from February to August 2010. During that time he worked with the U.S. Army and supported the USO on a number of endeavors, in addition to helping out at the base chapel and assisting patients at the theater hospital. He looks back on his time there with great reverence and said it's clearly one of many highlights so far in his military career.
"I met so many people from all over the world. It was an amazing experience," Baynard said. "As a volunteer I helped doctors take vital signs, assisted in getting supplies and did whatever I could to help patients stay comfortable. It was really gratifying to help service members just like me. That's what I will remember most."
When asked what advice he would give someone who is thinking about volunteering, Baynard had this to say.
"Think of what you want to do and have fun with it. It's great to give back. It makes you a better person," he said. "I'm the type of person who likes to keep busy and get involved with things. Everyone can volunteer and do something."