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CE Airman shares why she donates through CFC

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Senior Airman Jennifer Crouse, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron operations manager, poses for a Combined Federal Campaign poster Oct. 3, 2012. During a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in fall 2010 Crouse volunteered with a medical unit assisting wounded service members.  Because of this experience Crouse donates to the Wounded Warrior Project, which is one of the many charities that benefits from the CFC. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Senior Airman Jennifer Crouse, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron operations manager, poses for a Combined Federal Campaign poster Oct. 3, 2012. During a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in fall 2010 Crouse volunteered with a medical unit assisting wounded service members. Because of this experience Crouse donates to the Wounded Warrior Project, which is one of the many charities that benefits from the CFC. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Why do you donate?

This question is one every Airman may consider during the annual Combined Federal Campaign.

For Senior Airman Jennifer Crouse, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron operations manager, donating is a part of life.

Crouse was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in fall 2010 where she volunteered her free time with a medical unit there.

"After working in a hospital for seven months, I learned more and more," Crouse said. "Being that it is a dangerous province in Afghanistan, we saw a lot of stuff. It also starts becoming very personal when you see your friends coming in. To have worked with patients who have lost limbs, follow up with them and see how prosthetics changed their lives, it affects you a lot more."

Crouse noticed many service members she cared for during the deployment benefited from programs such as the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity to which Crouse now donates.

The Wounded Warrior Project is one of many charities that benefits from the CFC. Other organizations that receive funds through the CFC provide programs that help veterans find work, transition into civilian life and receive secondary rehabilitation.

"To understand that the money that I donate goes toward helping them for the long run and get their lives back makes it easier to donate," Crouse said.

This experience in Kandahar did not begin Crouse's passion in the medical field, rather it was strengthened. Crouse is currently a student studying public health with the long-term goal of becoming a pediatrician. Her education and her experiences led to her realizing the benefits of her volunteering and donating.

"I've seen what happens, and have seen the impact of what this does for these people," Crouse said. "I think it is important to give whatever you can give. No one ever became poor from donating.

"One of the Air Force core values is service before self and I believe service is not just toward the military, but to other people as well," she said. "The community gives to us, so why can we not give in return?"

According to the CFC website, more than $272 million was donated last year to charities with more than $3 million raised in the Denver area.

The participating charities vary to include organizations benefiting military members, promoting music, supporting various religious organizations, protecting animal rights and many others.

As of Oct. 22 nearly $33,000 was donated by team Buckley.
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