Mark Reynolds is the Buddy-to-Buddy April 2017 Volunteer of the Month! Mark trained as a volunteer in July 2016 and is assigned to the 127th Air Wing Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Not only does Mark consistently attend drill, he has made a significant impact on the lives of service members at Selfridge and in his local community by tirelessly going above and beyond to help them receive the services and resources they need. His gracious nature, dedication to his unit, willingness to take on challenges, and commitment to helping veterans in need make Mark a tremendous asset to the program.
Mark served four years in the Air Force as a medical technician. He began his college studies while he was serving and earned an Associate’s in Science (Medical Technology) during that time. After his time in the Air Force, he received a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Biology (pre-med) and Psychology. He has worked in the skilled trades, including drywall finishing and commercial carpentry, was a hospital lab manager for many years, and has been a skydiving and martial arts instructor.
Mark explains that he’s had a desire to help veterans for many years. While living in San Francisco and managing a small clinical lab, Mark became involved with the organization Swords to Plowshares, a veterans group founded in the 70s dedicated to helping Vietnam veterans find housing and employment. He served on its board of directors and found great satisfaction helping other veterans get back on their feet, a feeling he now enjoys through his work with Buddy-to-Buddy. Mark says, “There is no higher calling for me than helping to resolve the issues of our military service personnel and their families and to keep them strong and moving forward in their lives.” Additionally, Mark has been a volunteer at Heartland Hospice working with terminally ill veterans for the past three years.
Recently, Mark was able to assist a service member by helping him avoid being evicted from his apartment. The service member was so grateful for everything that Mark did for him that he wrote his Senior NCO, Chief MSgt, USAF 127th Wing Command Chief, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, with a glowing testimonial about Mark, explaining how he’d gone out of his way to help him connect with multiple services and organizations that were able to help him.
Mark married for the first time later in life to April, a woman he’d attended elementary school with and reconnected with as an adult. He enjoys spending his free time playing guitar and hanging out with his three dogs. Mark would like to express his thanks to the Buddhist community for being so supportive in his endeavors to help the military.
Keep up the wonderful work, Mark!