CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Deep in the sands of Afghanistan, a Marine reservist who is also a volunteer firefighter carries out the missions placed upon him.
Lance Cpl. Thomas Hind brings enthusiasm and dedication to every endeavor, from installing computers to raising money for wounded warriors.
Before joining the Marine Corps, Hind, a 25-year-old East Meadow, N.Y., native, spent part of his time as a volunteer firefighter at the East Meadow Fire Department Ladder 1 and still volunteers today.
"I've been a firefighter for [more than six years]," said Hind, a generator operator assigned to the Communications Maintenance Section, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). Hind's parent command is 4th Marine Logistics Group, a reserve unit based in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his primary mission here is to provide the necessities of communication to 1st MLG (FWD), from satellites to computers.
Hind's desire to help people was one of the reasons he became a firefighter.
"It's good helping out people, and I like the type of camaraderie we have at the fire station," said Hind.
The firefighters of Nassau County, New York, where Hind volunteers, visit Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C., Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C., the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center in Maryland, called "Operation Wounded Warrior."
"With Operation Wounded Warrior we visit these hospitals and hand out iPods, backpacks and things they may need," Hind said.
He also said that the program started a few years ago because some of the firemen were wounded veterans. Every year since then, they have raised money by having fundraisers, pie sales and collecting donations from local businesses, to purchase items for wounded warriors.
"We raise close to $100,000 every year," Hind said with a look of excitement on his face. "That's a big part of the organization."
The dedication he brought to fundraising is similar to the dedication he has brought to the workplace as a Marine.
"Lance Cpl. Hind is a very hard worker," said Staff Sgt. Stewart Hanna, Communications Maintenance chief, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG (FWD). "He's one of my go-to guys and needs little or no supervision at all."
Hind joined the Marine Corps in December 2005, a year after becoming a volunteer firefighter. He is currently on his first deployment to Afghanistan and is happy to be a part of the mission of 1st MLG (FWD).
"It feels good to be here," Hind said. "I don't have any complaints because this is where I'm needed."