By Message Staff
BOSSIER CITY – Retired Air Force Lt. Col. John Storey has never shied away from responding to a disaster, whether it be the great 2016 flood in south Louisiana or the 2017 hurricanes that devastated east Texas and Puerto Rico.
Since August 2016, Storey has responded to three disasters and volunteered with five organizations, including with the Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief for eight months. For his devotion, Storey has earned recognition as the 2018 Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteer of the Year.
“I am very lucky that I am at a stage in life where I can devote so much of my time and energy on helping others who are less fortunate,” Storey told the Baptist Message. “It also helps that my wife supports me and understands my desire to give back as much as I can while I am still young enough and healthy enough to do so.
“God has allowed me the opportunity to serve with many people of different religions,” he said. “Whether it be Catholics, Baptists, Protestants, Lutherans or Methodists, we all are committed to serving God and helping others,” he continued. “When I was presented this award, I didn’t feel qualified to have earned it. There were many more people who spent more time with the SBC that were more deserving than me.”
The New York native retired from the Air Force in February 2012 and transitioned to serving as a full-time volunteer. He helped out with various service organizations in the Shreveport-Bossier area as well as other groups, including the North American Mission Board, Rolling Hills Ministries in Ruston and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
During the last two years, he has helped cook 8,000 meals as part of a Rolling Hills Ministries feeding team as part of a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief effort in Beaumont, Texas, and worked with the North American Mission Board’s Send Relief team in Vidor, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
“While in Puerto Rico with Send Relief, we gave out toys to children in a very low income area,” he recalled of the trip in late December 2017. “One young girl wanted a scooter. I was able to procure the last one from our gifts and give it to her. She followed us around the rest of the day with a smile that never quit and kept us going.”