Yesterday seemed like a normal day for Colin Zeller as he showed up at GCHope, ready to volunteer. This week, his employer, Equity Residential, is giving their employees paid time to volunteer and give back to the community. Colin is a Service Technician for Equity Residential at Skyview Apartments in Rancho Santa Margarita and was pleased to have the opportunity to give back.
It wasn’t until he entered our warehouse and noticed our boxes that carry the medical supplies in international shipments that he realized it was all familiar to him. Colin’s memory took him back to 2007. He was in his senior year of college when he decided to change the course of his life entirely by enlisting in the United States Army. He was trained to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq, and in 2008 he set out to do just that. Colin spent a year serving his country in Baghdad and then was deployed for a second time in 2010 to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
In Kandahar, Colin worked as a gunner and driver for the logistics security team that provided protection for the supplies we delivered in the birthplace of the Taliban, Arghandab River Valley. Colin often helped transport donated supplies and equipment sent to the military from America. Items that were often donated and needed in this part of the world were medical supplies, food, water, vaccinations, and many other things. Colin remembered delivering GCHope boxes packed with medical supplies and basic needs items to civilian-led medical clinics and Afghan villages in their area. He said it was such a good thing for the soldiers to be able to help make connections with the local people they were helping. GCHope sent over 20 shipments of medical supplies, hygiene product and basic needs products to support US troops overseas during the war.
“Volunteering here today brought back good memories. It made me feel like I’m still fighting for the greater cause and touching those who are in need,” Colin said.
As a wounded combat veteran Colin is still giving back to his community. It was a privilege to host him today at GCHope. It was an honor to host a man willing to risk his life for our country and who continues to serve and give to others.