The Gift to Make a Positive Change
Jeffery M. Woods is being honored as a Champion of Change for his Kiwanis International service.
I am deeply honored and privileged to be named as a Champion of Change. I have long been committed to service as citizen soldier and a community servant.
As a member of the Kiwanis Club of Ruston, Louisiana, I have focused my service on helping kids. I feel God has given me a gift to reach out to any community to make a positive change in an individual or family, and I feel that Kiwanis gives me opportunities to use that gift.
I started a backpack program that helps disadvantaged students at our local elementary school. As a Kiwanis advisor to the Grambling State University Circle K Club, I guide the college students in tutoring and mentoring children in third through eighth grade. I’m also the Kiwanis Terrific Kids coordinator at the elementary school. We arrange speakers to talk to the students about the importance of education and establishing good work habits. Every nine weeks, Kiwanis members have breakfast with the students and reward the students who have achieved their goals with certificates and passes to movies and sporting events.
After completing a three-year enlistment on active duty at Fort Hood, Texas, I joined the U.S. Army Reserves in February 1987, and in February 1990, I was deployed for active duty with 279th Maintenance Company, Dallas, Texas, for Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. I completed my Army Reserves tour in July 1994. After completion of 10 years of military service, I decided to leave the military and work for the Dallas Morning News.
During my time out of the military, I missed the esprit de corps, Army values, travel and sense of belonging to one of the greatest organizations in the world. I re-enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard on September 19, 2000, in the Headquarters Support Company, 527th Engineers, in Ruston as a material handling equipment operator. I was deployed to active duty again in January of 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and served seven months in-country. I was chosen among my peers to be a full-time active guard reserve soldier on April 15, 2004, for Alpha Company 527th Engineers, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. In August 2005, I was deployed to New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina, where I assisted citizens and emergency personnel, monitored the streets of the city and kept hostile situations to a minimum. I remained in New Orleans the remainder of the year to assist with clean-up and restoration.
I’m dedicated to my family, including my wife, Aldrenia, and our children: Ebony, Brandon, Tony II, Andrez and Decambrien. I thank my parents, Gardie B. and Beatrice (Miller) Woods, for instilling in me strong values, and I’m blessed to have four brothers (Gordy, Perry, Jerry, Tommy) and one sister (Maria LaTrice).
I’m also dedicated to the Louisiana Army National Guard, the Kiwanis Club of Ruston and my church family, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. I have served my community with faith and honor, and I am so grateful to be recognized as a Champion of Change.
Staff Sergeant Jeffery M. Woods is the Unit Supply Sergeant for Headquarters Support Company, 527th Engineer Company, Ruston, Louisiana, of the 225th Brigade, Camp Beauregard