A Dyess Airman pays it forward at Big Brothers, Big Sisters

A former 'little brother' giving back

ABILENE, Texas - The saying that "one person can make a difference" is true in the life of one Abilene man.

A Dyess airman was a "little" in the 'Big Brothers, Big Sisters' program when he was younger. He serves the Abilene community as a way to give back to just a little of what was given to him. Jason Sanders life came full circle Tuesday.

All the factors in his life could have sent him down a completely different path. Thanks to one "big" man, Jason lives his dreams.

Tuesday, Jason completed his normal 'Meals on Wheels' route. He said, he volunteers because he's passionate about being a helping hand in the community. Years ago, that's what someone else was for him.

"Going into the third grade, excited about that and I remember it like it was yesterday," Jason said. "Mr. Roundtree was my counselor for ‘Big Brothers and Big Sisters."

Jason's parents divorced when he was young. Growing up he said his environment didn't look that good.

"We lived in a three bedroom home, one bath," Jason said. "Six people trying to share a bathroom in three bedrooms could be pretty daunting, but we managed and we made it work as a family."

Jason's situation took a turn for the better when his "Big Brother" introduced him to what would become his career.

"He took me to the Air Force museum and it kind of sparked new interests that I didn't know were available to me," Jason said. "It kind of led me to want to fly planes and be excited about aviation that I didn't know about living in an inner city. I just didn't have access to those facilities before."

Jason now flies C-130s out of Dyess. He's a father, but he also wants to make a difference in the life of another boy. On Tuesday, Jason became a "big."

"It's kind of like an appreciation," Jason said. "I thank God, and I thank Carl for being obedient and really stepping out on faith for trying something that he was very afraid of too. I'm kind of afraid right now to become a "big," because I don't know what I'm offering, but I do know that it will plant a seed in someone's life."

Jason said he's not perfect, but everyone can do their part, one person at a time.

Jason will be paired with a "little" brother soon. 'Big Brothers, Big Sisters' has a waiting list of 270 kids needing mentors. 70 percent of the 270 kids are male. The program said they're male waiting list is for an average of one to two years. 'Big Brothers, Big Sisters,' always need more men to volunteer.

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