Saturday Spotlight: Dave Alder
Chapter: Team RWB Midwest/Madison
Member Since: August 2013
Motto: “The bigger the challenge, the better opportunity to grow!”
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“I left the U.S. Army as a Gulf War Veteran and upon arriving home I had noticed there wasn’t anything in my area to connect me to my veteran family besides dark and dull bars which I had no interest in. I had been in Patriot Missile units and had been a Post Wrestling coach so I had continued with a fitness regime on my own until over a decade later, a Facebook friend stationed overseas with her enlisted spouse mentioned Team RWB. I looked up the website and was hooked immediately. I drove the 2 hours to Omaha and instantly had connections and camaraderie with veterans and civilians. Team RWB was exactly what I hoped for when I left the service. It was the spark that made me feel complete again as it was so easy to speak to other veterans because we “just get each other”. I now had a much larger family for support. We all have different experiences but the core of what we had built into us never leaves. What I have also noticed is how our civilian members have adjusted to holding those same values, there is nothing better than being surprised that one of our civilian members is not an actual veteran when someone previously thought they were from an interaction. I have traveled to many different races/events in other states and have always been so happy to see more Eagles and connect with them as it seems effortless and just easy to have a conversation and understand one another. I spent a few years in Omaha as the VOD traveling back and forth without any regret and am fortunate enough to have a great Chapter in Norfolk now! :)”
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“My Favorite event is hard to narrow down as there have been so many great interactions and events but I think attending Trail Camp was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish forever. Connecting with such great and inspiring folks just intensified my commitment to continue to lead and spread the ethos. My other favorite events have been gathering all our Eagles and running the Lincoln marathon the last few years. Each year we have witnessed a couple eagles run their first half marathon and do it as a team, there is nothing better than being a part of something bigger than ones self. We have also ran the Market to Market relay in Nebraska for 2 years now and hearing all the spectators yell “America” as we run with old glory through exchange points is not even describable. “
How Do You Serve Your Community?
“I serve my community by continuing to advocate for veterans and locate them to bring them into our family. I work for the State as a Veterans Workforce Coordinator so this helps with many valuable community organizations who have stepped up to reach out and improve veterans lives. I always look to inspire someone while helping them believe in themselves with the outstanding assistance from my great team and letting them know we are all out here just trying to make the world a better place and we have their backs.“
What Inspires You?
“I am inspired by watching someone grow, step out of their shell, or helping them believe they can do something they previously wouldn’t have thought was possible. I really love someone to tell me they can’t or I can’t do something and then seeing their face when we accomplish those goals.”
How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?
“Team RWB has enabled me to connect with people and become something bigger than myself. I used to do all my physical events solo and since becoming a part of Team RWB I have molded more into a teamwork role where we never leave anyone behind and inspire others by our actions. My team wearing that eagle is an example of that daily. Team RWB has also given me a connection to the camaraderie I had missed upon leaving the service.”
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“Whenever I encounter someone or am asked a question about who Team RWB is, it’s easy, I let them know we are an organization that enriches lives by connecting our communities through social and physical activities. I let them know they are valued and invite them in to our family because everyone should have such a great opportunity to witness what we do first hand, that is something to cherish. Even though Nebraska is fairly rural we work together with Omaha and statewide like a brother/sisterhood of Eagles. Our presence and unity shows when we arrive at events or in any setting. I believe we give people a sense of pride, inspiration and nationalism as we hoist Old Glory and set out to do hard work while strengthening ourselves and anyone around us.”