Carl Underhill is the Buddy-to-Buddy February 2017 Volunteer of the Month! Ever since being trained into the program in April of 2016, Carl has been an eager and enthusiastic volunteer, faithfully attending both drill and weekly support calls. Carl is assigned to the Wyoming armory and has enjoyed getting to know the soldiers in that unit as well as receiving excellent support from the Guard leadership there.
Carl had a long military career in the Army, first with a four-year enlistment working in an administrative role and, after college, 20 years as an adjutant general corps officer. His detail was with the infantry at the 197th Infantry Brigade in Fort Benning, GA, where he commanded an infantry rifle company. He served in Vietnam and was on the second-to-last plane to leave Saigon after the armistice.
Carl holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from Central Michigan University, a Master’s of Public Affairs from Indiana University, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Cappella University. After retiring from the Army, Carl was a JROTC Instructor in the Grand Rapids Public Schools for six years before working for an adoption agency facilitating adoptions from Siberia. Concurrently and afterwards, he worked in corporate and franchise operations for H&R Block for a total of 25 years and then as a volunteer tax preparer for AARP for three years.
Carl was seeking volunteer opportunities that would be engaging and rewarding when he learned about Buddy-to-Buddy at a senior volunteer event at a Grand Rapids library. He decided to apply, and since coming on as a volunteer, he’s enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many others who have also served. Carl says that he’s derived his greatest satisfaction as a volunteer with the program from being able to intervene and make a positive difference in the lives of fellow veterans. In addition to his work with Buddy-to-Buddy, Carl dedicates his time as a volunteer at Holland Hospice and as a tax preparer for the IRS program VITA. He is a member of the American Legion.
He has been married to his wife for 48 years and they have six children and nine grandchildren. In his free time, Carl enjoys studying his genealogy and traces his ancestry back to Captain John Underhill, an early English settler and soldier in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He is a member and past president of the Underhill Society of America, a genealogical society dedicated to perpetuating the memory of Captain John Underhill and his descendants.
Thank you for your tremendous commitment to serving other veterans, Carl!