Ken Wood is the Buddy-to-Buddy July 2017 Volunteer of the Month! Over the course of the year he’s been with the program, Ken has stood out because of his tremendous dedication to assisting veterans in the community and the service members at his assigned unit, the 127th Security Forces Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Ken demonstrates a high level of commitment to attending drill there and strengthening relationships in his assigned armory, ever thorough in providing appropriate assistance to those who need it. He is an asset to the program and a true support to everyone he works with.
Ken served in the Air Force as a firefighter from 1973-76 and was stationed at Wurtsmith and Torrejon Air Force Bases. After that, he raised his family with his wife and earned an Associate’s degree from Macomb Community College in legal assistance technology. Beginning in 1987, he served six years as a team leader in the 1776 Military Police Company of the Michigan Army National Guard, which included deploying in support of Operation Desert Storm. While serving in the Guard, he worked as a police officer for the Henry Ford Health System and on the physical security team for Electronic Data Systems before going on to work in information technology as a freelance desktop support consultant.
Ken’s family has a long tradition of military service, as at least four generations have served: His grandfather in WWI, his father in WWII, Ken during the Vietnam and Gulf eras, and now one of his daughters and his son are both serving in the Michigan National Guard. His daughter is a Captain in the 46th Military Police Command in Lansing and his son is a Staff Sergeant in Alpha Battery 1-119th Field Artillery Unit in Port Huron. Ken jokes they simply “went into the family business.”
Having served and deployed prior to 9/11 and remembering how there weren’t many support programs for service members then, Ken was glad to see that had changed by the time his son deployed. He jumped at the opportunity to assist fellow veterans as a volunteer when he learned about Buddy-to-Buddy in a Michigan Works! newsletter. Asked what he’s enjoyed most about volunteering with the program, Ken says, “the people I meet… It has been a blast” He says that, as he does outreach at events in the community and builds relationships with the service members at Selfridge, he is glad to witness the positive response people have to him and the program.
Ken and his wife have two daughters, one son, and three grandchildren. On top of being very active as a volunteer, he enjoys spending his time reading, working on home improvement projects, watching sports and the History Channel, and repairing and restoring bicycles that he donates to homeless shelters for kids to use.
Way to make a difference in the lives of other veterans, Ken!