Fellow Friday – Joyce Myers
After a life of service, Army veteran Joyce Myers continues to serve through Team RWB
Joyce Myers grew up in a military family and learned the meaning of service from an early age. Watching both of her parents serve in the United States Air Force ultimately inspired her to pursue her own career in the military. Myers retired from the Army in 2005 after a 20-year career and currently works for the Department of the Army as a civilian. Though Myers continues to serve others as part of her professional career, she has also found another passion in serving veterans as part of Team Red, White & Blue.
After retiring from the Army, Myers joined several veteran service organizations. She found that she was younger than the average member, and was often turned away from volunteering to take on leadership roles.
That all changed in 2012, when Myers signed up to run a Disney half marathon. One of her former Soldiers suggested that she consider joining Team RWB to assist with her training. Myers researched the organization and joined a local chapter.
“I quickly recognized that Team RWB was not only inclusive of all members, but also valued all Eagles equally. That was very important to me as a female veteran,” said Myers.
That half marathon inspired her to get more involved and later to join her chapter’s volunteer leadership team, first as Community Engagement Director and later as Chapter Captain.
“Right from the beginning, I was made to feel welcome and given the opportunity to serve the organization in a meaningful way,” said Myers. “It was empowering to feel valued and not as if I was being pushed into an outdated stereotype.”
Over the past seven years, Myers has attended yoga camps and Eagle Leader Experiences that have helped her continue to develop as a leader. All of that culminated in her decision to apply for the 2019 Eagle Leader Fellowship to give back to an organization that has enriched her own life.
Over the course of her fellowship, Myers helped revise Team RWB’s Chapter Playbook, which drives local operations, and assisted in the development of a Frequently Asked Questions resource for volunteer leaders across the nation, among other projects.
She has enjoyed mentoring future volunteer chapter leaders and serving as a regional volunteer coach for Community Engagement Directors specifically. However, her most powerful fellowship experience was coordinating an Eagle Excursion at Space Camp that drew Eagles from 12 states.
“Our Space Camp excursion was simply epic,” Myers said. “50 Eagles from across the country came together to work as teams and execute missions to the moon and Mars. Sharing such an incredible experience drives right to the heart of Team RWB by developing long-lasting relationships and creating life-long friendships.”
Fellows are provided a financial stipend to pursue elective educational opportunities that increase the quality and quantity of veteran engagement, and Myers has put that to use to attend the Disney Institute for Leadership Excellence and Employee Engagement.
TAKING ON NEW CHALLENGES
The Eagle Leader Fellowship has empowered and encouraged Myers to take on a long-time goal and challenge that extends beyond 2019 – earning yoga certifications geared towards warriors and children who have experienced trauma. Myers has already been contacted by a local veteran-owned gym to conduct free classes for veterans and Team RWB members, and intends to do so even after her fellowship has come to an end.
“The training is geared specifically to service members and first responders experiencing Post Traumatic Stress or emotional/physical trauma,” Myers stated. “I have been interested in becoming a yogi since attending Yoga Camp in 2015. Team RWB introduced me to it, and my fellowship has provided me the opportunity to pursue certification.”
Applications for the 2020 Eagle Leader Fellowship are currently open for veterans, military family members, and civilian supporters. Click here to learn more about how you can follow in Joyce Myer’s footsteps and help enrich the lives of veterans in your community.
“Initially, I thought I was giving a lot to Team RWB,” said Myers. “But I’ve come to realize that what I received in return was even more important. I’ve gained perspective, on life and leadership, and hundreds of close personal relationships. My life is truly better with Team RWB in it.”