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Volunteering Airmen: A Day in the Life

  • Published
  • By Courtesy Writer: Abby Kinder, Northern Sentry
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

SSgt. Calvin Navarro is an all-around handyman. When he’s not working as a maintainer for the 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, he is volunteering his skills to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Minot, N.D. 

While looking for volunteer opportunities, Navarro found that the DVCC, which is the only domestic violence and rape crisis center within 100 miles, aligned with his passion for helping others. “I grew up in a single parent home. My dad left when I was younger and so my mom really had to take care of and do everything for my sister and I. The situation that I had growing up reminds me of some of the things I see these people going through, and it made me want to get more involved and help however I could. I see a lot of my own family in some of these individuals,” said Navarro.  

So, he decided to reach out to the DVCC volunteer coordinator and put his maintenance skills to good use, even with an already busy schedule.    

A typical work day for Navarro begins at 4 a.m. He takes care of his dog and heads out to prepare all of his resources for the long day ahead. Once his team arrives at a missile site, they will work 8 or more hours providing maintenance and logistics support for the wing’s fleet of Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. After his time in the field, Navarro returns to base to finish up any remaining work and then goes home to play with his dog and wind down.  

On his days off, Navarro’s roster is just as packed. He likes to stay consistent in waking up early and will dedicate a few hours of his morning to school, where he is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He then spends some more time with his dog before going to the gym and working out. Navarro also enjoys reading books and watching movies in his down time. On occasion, he will have to head into his workplace to complete any unfinished tasks from previous days.  

When his busy schedule allows, Navarro heads to the DVCC to volunteer his time. He uses his skills to perform upkeep and maintenance on the center’s temporary housing facilities. This includes painting, tearing up floors, moving furniture, fixing holes in the walls, and any other tasks the facility may need. Navarro will also help sort donations that arrive at the DVCC. He feels passionate about using his time to better the community and encourages anyone in need to reach out. “The DVCC is one of the best programs that I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “The staff is top tier and I would encourage anyone, if they ever need anything in that realm, to not be afraid to reach out to them because they are so well trained and well equipped. And if they don’t have the answer, they will most certainly make sure that you have the resources to get to where you need to go.”  

Navarro also uses his time off to volunteer with Companions for Children, a youth mentorship program, as well as participating in youth programs at his local church. Having so many things to do from day to day is no easy task, but Navarro is able to manage everything with the help of his planner and his determination to help others. “I like to stay busy and do a lot of hobbies but I also try to do things that better the community around me,” he said.  

Navarro’s volunteer work with children and families at the DVCC and Companions for Children are important stepping stones to his dream of working in schools someday as a teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator. “I definitely love to work with people,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been very blessed in my life and the least I can do is pass it on to someone who may not have had the things I had growing up.”