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Stories / Youth

A Salute to Spc. Key on Veteran's Day

We are so proud of our program graduate, Spc. William Key, for his commitment to serve others and his country as an Infantry soldier in the US Army. Since enlisting in 2012, Spc. Key has spent much of his time overseas in South Korea and Germany. He says that his experiences working with Korean, German, and NATO soldiers have taught him that “respect is the common factor that binds us together, and the allied spirit that we have to protect and serve our homelands.”

Spc. Key knew he wanted to be an infantryman because it is the highest honored job in the American military.  He has found strength and joy through the challenges the job presents. When asked what has surprised him the most about his time in the military, he said, “The biggest surprise has been myself and how much I can do when I have to push myself to accomplish a task given to me.”

In December, Spc. Key will go before the promotion board in hopes of becoming an NCO, thus furthering his leadership skills and military career. He has yet to decide if he will reenlist at the end of his current term of service. He does know that if he did choose to return to civilian life, he would like to serve the Portland community as a police officer. He also hopes to volunteer with Friends of the Children.

“I don’t think [my mentor], Darren, understands the level of importance to service he built within me and some of his other youth,” Spc. Key reflects. During his time with Friends, it was clear early on that Spc. Key had a passion for service. He was constantly volunteering out in the community with Darren or working hard as a summer intern to help guide our younger program youth.

It has been an honor to walk alongside Spc. Key and watch him transform from a young boy into such a driven, caring, and compassionate young man. Thank you, Will, for all you have done and will continue to do in service to our community and country. Happy Veteran’s Day!

““The biggest surprise has been myself and how much I can do when I have to push myself to accomplish a task given to me.” ”