EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Service before self, is one of the Air Force core values drilled into Airmen from day one. Opportunities to serve others are all around us. For one Airmen here at Kirtland, an opportunity has taken him to the Florida panhandle.
Since Oct. 23, 2018, Master Sgt. Keith Corcoran, 377th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight superintendent, has been volunteering his time and efforts to help those Airmen and their families that were affected by Hurricane Michael.
“I quickly took over the phones and set up a call log,” said Corcoran. “The situation here is very fluid and so far my role has been to assess people's needs and then get them what they need.”
The varying needs of those Airmen and their families are just as fluid as Corcoran’s situation.
“I have been helping with a lot of different needs,” said Corcoran. “People need their kids
to go back to school, places to stay long term and financial assistance.”
According to Corcoran, the Air Force Aid Society has donated $6 million to help Airmen and their families affected by Hurricane Michael. Corcoran and his team found their own way to add to that financial assistance.
“My team was lucky enough to find other grants for families in need in addition to AFAS,” said Corcoran. “One grant was for $500 and other grants were based on a case by case basis."
This isn’t the first time Corcoran has helped victims recuperate after natural disasters.
“I asked to go because I am from Florida and know the drill,” said Corcoran. “Before I joined, I was in a volunteer fire department as a rescue swimmer and diver. I have been at ground zero during hurricanes, floods and bad storms. It felt like the right thing to do.”
Exemplifying service before self, Corcoran left his wife and two kids, so he could help other families.
“It makes me extremely proud of my husband,” said Kelsey Corcoran, his wife. "Even though it is hard to have him leave, we know that is where he is needed.”
Both Corcoran and his wife were
born and raised in Florida, so Hurricane Michael hit close to home. They know what those victims are going through, what services they need and they are passing that knowledge and empathy to their two daughters.
“Our oldest daughter, who is nine, has been saving her money from doing chores at our house and other houses to donate for the children in Florida,” said Kelsey. “Our three year old proudly tells everyone she meets what her dad is doing to help families in Florida.”
For Kelsey, volunteering, helping those in need and service before self are not foreign ideas to her husband. They are a part of his character wherever he is.
“He is a great role model for his children and younger Airmen,” said Kelsey. “He will go out of his way to help anyone that needs his help. He works hard at everything he does and takes pride in it.”
According to Kelsey, Corcoran would continue to serve those affected by the hurricane until everything is done.
“Nobody survives these things alone,” said Corcoran. “I think if you are able and can help, then you should.”
Individuals can help those Airmen that have been affected by Hurricane Michael by donating money to AFAS, the official charity of the U.S. Air Force at their website: https://www.afas.org.