Even as a youngster, Garreth Jones wanted to be part of the bigger picture and involved in a worthy cause somehow, somewhere.
Of course, his easy-going, good-hearted nature may have received a gentle nudge from his mom, Cheryl Jones who encouraged him to help out as a volunteer at Pas Ka Poo Park where she works as park administrator.
“She didn’t want me home doing nothing,” he said, with a chuckle.
Whatever the motivation, the 22-year-old primary care paramedic, donates a great deal of his time to volunteering and giving back to the community he lives in.
And he loves it.
In January, Jones accepted the position of president of the Rimbey Legion.
He is the youngest Rimbey Legion member to every hold that position. It is a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly.
“I like the Legion,” he said. “I joined when I was 18 and I have made lots of friends. It’s fun.”
Being involved in the Legion is a natural for the young volunteer, who started out as a reservist for the armed forces when he was a teenager. As a reservist, he attends meetings every Wednesday night at the armouries in Red Deer. Last weekend, he was in training in Wainwright practicing shooting a Howitzer, a type of artillery weapon that is intended to fulfill both the role of ordinary cannon or field gun.
Although most Legion members are much older than him, Jones said he feels very comfortable with them.
“I’ve always gotten along with older people and I like listening to their stories. I like the history of the Legion.”
As a reservist, Jones is eligible to serve in the armed forces oversees.
“If there was a conflict (and I was asked to go), I would go for sure,” he said.
Jones said the Legion is a service club that helps out the community in many ways, donating to different groups and organizations and keeping the history of Remembrance Day alive.
“We are always looking for members,” he said. “The history is disappearing and we need to keep it alive.”
Any Canadian citizen or citizen of an allied nation who is 18 years of age or older is welcome to become a member of the Legion. The categories of membership include ordinary membership which are still serving and retired military, reservists, RCMP, police officers and Canadian Coast Guard.
Associate membership includes parents, spouses, widows, widowers, children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces as well as nephews of a person who is or was eligible for ordinary membership.
The affiliate voting membership includes Canadian citizens or Commonwealth subjects from an allied nation who support The Royal Canadian Legion’s aims and objectives and are not eligible for ordinary or associate membership. The affiliate non-voting membership includes non-Canadian citizens or non-Commonwealth subjects from an allied nation who support The Royal Canadian Legion’s aims and objectives.
As well as serving as Legion president, Jones is president of Victims Services.
“I don’t like sitting still,” he said, by way of explanation.
Jones has also been a member of the West District Fire Department for several years. He finds this volunteer position especially rewarding and enjoys the camaraderie he experiences with the other members.
His volunteer work with the fire department played a role in helping him to pursue his career of primary care paramedic and teaching basic life support to Alberta Health Services employees.
When Jones isn’t busy as a paramedic or volunteering he loves spending time with his fiance, Madison Lanz. The couple love being out in nature west of Rocky Mountain House, enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
In fact, the couple were on Abraham Lake when Jones popped the question which had the potential from changing Lanz’s status from girlfriend to fiance.
Of course, she said ‘yes’!
And the rest of the story is yet to be written.