Sibling volunteer duo reunites at MacDill

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Ellis
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
"At first I volunteered because it was required by my school. Then once I started doing it, I really enjoyed the workplace atmosphere as I got a taste of the military lifestyle," said Private First Class Michael Dempsey, ex-student volunteer at the 6th Medical Group.

After graduating last year from Bloomingdale High School in Brandon, Fla., Dempsey finally got a chance to join the ranks of service members he volunteered alongside and enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps.

In the interim after boot camp and on his way to additional combat training, Dempsey visited his sister Aug. 22, 2013, in the same office he volunteered at from 2008 to 2011.

Right after high school Dempsey's sister, Cindy Knopf, also started out as a volunteer in the Dental Clinic; she was later hired and has worked as a dental assistant since 2004. Cindy was the forerunner who introduced her brother to the available volunteer opportunities on base.

Altogether the sibling duo racked up more than six years of volunteer experience at the clinic.

"It's a good program, where you can develop an appreciation for working. Also, it's a plus when you actually enjoy what you do," said Dempsey.

That excitement and enthusiasm was exhibited as Dempsey far exceed the mandatory 12 hours required by his high school.

"You're only required to work 4 hours a week but Michael came several times a week (for nine hours each day) and cumulated several hundreds of hours while working at the Medical Group," said Angie Bougas, chairman of volunteers for the Red Cross and also a 40-year volunteer at MacDill.

As Dempsey embarks on a military career of his own, he credits his developed patriotism to the hardworking medics at the 6th MDG and some words of wisdom from an older sibling about a life-altering volunteer opportunity.