“I have always believed that we were put on earth to serve and share our blessings with others,” said David Myers, a Life member of VFW Post 3031 in Rogers, Arkansas.
Myers put that into action by serving in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. Even while answering the call of duty during Operation Desert Storm and as part of the Space Shuttle Support Team, he wanted to help anywhere he could. He volunteered at the post office every Christmas he was overseas to ensure mail and packages were out. He found ways to be involved with his three daughters’ school, softball team and scouting.
In 1995, Myers’ efforts were honored with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. But everything came to a sudden stop when he retired from the Air Force, and he realized he faced an uphill battle to continue working and serving others.
Finding a job proved more difficult than anticipated, so Myers went back to school and earned a degree in business administration and management information systems. He discovered a second career with Wal-Mart headquarters in Arkansas, and eventually landed his current job as data systems manager for the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
With each new location and skillset, Myers found more opportunities to help his community. Since 2003, he has served in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and was deputy commander for cadet programs for six years. In Arkansas, he served with Wreaths Across America at Fayetteville National Cemetery.
Now in Oklahoma City, Myers organizes veteran activities through his church and teaches history and genealogy at a health and wellness center.
“I enjoy working with kids who are CAP cadets because I am constantly impressed with their innate abilities and unceasing potential to achieve,” Myers said.
“Seeing these young people grow in strength and confidence each year is amazing. The Wreaths Across America program allowed me to include them in an event that honors our veterans past and present. Teaching seniors how to research their family’s past, and how our personal timelines and historical timelines intersect, is wonderful when I see them light up as they find a connection.”
Myers is proud of his work mentoring CAP cadets. Several have gone on to serve in the military and email him to stay in touch or ask questions about leadership and service. His time teaching history and genealogy became more meaningful during the pandemic as it allowed him to be there for a fellow veteran.
“During 2020, with COVID-19 being front and center, all classes at the wellness center were cancelled until July. After that, it’s been a struggle to have anyone come,” said Myers.
“But I had this one gentleman, a retired Marine who is disabled, and he’s been there every single class. Right now, it’s more like we just have conversations. He comes in each week with questions and we go through them one on one.”
Continuing to serve isn’t always easy, yet it’s what Myers feels compelled to do. He wants more people, particularly veterans, to know they can keep moving forward in life and making a positive difference.
“I am classified as 100 percent disabled and I suppose I could have used that as a reason for not staying involved, but that has never been my style,” Myers said.
“If I had something to impart to other veterans it would be this: We all have it within us to be successful and reach our goals by removing fear from the equation, because fear will always tell you that you can’t. But you can do anything with faith, hope and great support from the family and those around you.”