Q: What drew you to volunteer for OEW?
A: I was burned out with my current volunteer activities and needed a change. I was looking for something that I was soon to find out I did not know I needed as much as they needed me. I found OEW online, saw the team in action and read everything about them and the mission I could find. It really hit me hard. They were making a difference and building connections, filling a gap that I had just blocked out. After leaving the Marines I was unplugged from a group of like-minded driven individuals that had a mission. I saw a group of brothers and sisters waiting for me to join a mission. I have not stopped spreading the word about our mission and trying to connect veterans ever since.
Q: Do you have a military or LEO connection? If so, what is it?
A: Yes. The Haines family overall has a long history of military service in all four branches dating back officially to the Union Army and unofficially to the Revolutionary war. Most recently I was the second of three generation of Marines. (We are the crazy branch of the family tree) My Dad was a Marine in 'Nam, I was in Shield/Storm and my oldest recently left active duty. I have 2 brothers-in law that have 20 years each in law enforcement.
Q: What is your most unforgettable OEW-related memory?
A: Honestly, every time I am with the team is unforgettable in some way. However, the very first time with the team and 2 honorees in Temecula, CA will always be my personal favorite. I could see the change, the difference we were making right before my eyes. And it wasn't just for them, it also affected and still impacts me each time we are with honorees and each other. The camaraderie, the change, the bonds. It is forever seared in my soul.
Q: In what ways do you enjoy contributing to the mission on a daily basis?
A: Any way I can, and there are several ways. Sharing the mission and story through social media or talking. I love to talk, so talking to anyone that will listen about OEW is really easy for me. Fundraising/outreach activities in the community are also rewarding. Interacting, connecting with and helping people understand how they can also help make a difference while also making a difference with veterans and LEOs is very rewarding.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about being involved in OEW?
A: My reward is helping, giving back, ensuring that not one person is forgotten, connected and as I say - "plugged into a community of like-minded people"
Q: Motto or principle you live by.
A: Since 1988 -- Honor, Courage, Commitment
Q: What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in becoming a volunteer?
A: Don't wait! Join, jump right in. If you aren't sure - hit me up. I will be happy to help guide you.
Q: What would you like people to know about OEW?
A: Some organizations miss the mark on their intentions. Not OEW, no matter what, it is about helping veterans and LEOs. Also, you are not going to find many organizations where they mean it when they want you to hit the ground running. Do not be afraid to help coordinate a fundraiser or outreach event, someone will be there to help.
Q: What is your daily contribution to OEW operations?
A: Outreach, fundraising, creating as much visibility online or by personally engaging people. I love hosting and helping with outreach events and have held some personal physical challenges for donations. I have done tire flips for money and the latest was personally pulling a 5300 lb truck. I am currently thinking about what I could do next. Ultimately, I find myself asking, what needs to be done.
Q: Do you physically participate in OEW events and, if so, how do you stay in shape for them?
A: I do whenever I can with the team and also represent OEW with others at smaller events or on my own during personal fundraising challenges. Events are demanding and you have to be prepared to help in any way possible. With the personal challenges, well I just train to be sure I don't get hurt. I do a variety of workouts, from HIIT, Functional Patterns, Rucking, Swimming, anything that will help me improve and be prepared.
Q: If OEW had unlimited funds, what would you like to see added to or happen within the organization?
A: I would like to see the right people have unlimited funds to first have the time needed for full commitment to live and breath the mission, allowing them to do the work, providing development and proper execution of programs and facilities needed to reach every veteran and LEO.
Q: Favorite book or podcast.
A: Anything by Stephen King, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Check out our OEW Spotify channel! Each team member will share their own playlist of music that gets them pumped for action or helps them chill during their workday. Follow our channel and receive updates whenever new playlists are posted! Don't have Spotify? Click here to download now and enjoy FREE music on your device/desktop.
Follow Dale's playlist here.
About Volunteering: Check out our information page here and learn how to become an OEW Community Ambassador (OCA). You can support our honorees and organization from your local community. We want YOU to become a part of our family!