Tennessee Delta Chapter President Paul Darkangelo (Tennessee Tech ’13), has been selected by a distinguished group of Phi Delta Theta alumni with military service, to be one of four members of the wreath laying party when Phi Delta Theta lays a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on July 5, 2012 during the Fraternity’s 79th Biennial Convention.
When thinking of the service I and my fellow brothers do for our community, Fraternity and most of all our Country, it’s hard to separate the three. It doesn’t matter if I have on my SGA Senator cloths, my Fraternity Badge, or my Army uniform, when you’re serving one you’re also serving the others as well. Being a soldier in the Tennessee Army National Guard is not a job to me. Many people say “oh well that’s your job or that’s your occupation” but the truth is, it isn’t at all. That’s just my way of giving back to my community, Fraternity, and most of all this great country!
Giving to your community can be a very simple thing. Some people think that you have to do something big and dramatic in order for it to be considered service of any kind. In reality it can be something that only affects only one person or a very small group of people. I have done community service projects from simply installing a neighbor’s mail box to building a whole house with Habitat for Humanity on a smaller scale and projects that affect a whole city or entire state. It doesn’t matter how big or small the service is, all that matters is that you take the stand and give back. Being an Eagle Scout and growing up in the Scouting environment, we were always doing little service projects here and there. That’s where I really learned what it means to give back.
Being in a fraternity can really teach an individual what it really means to give back in either community service or service to your country, especially Phi Delta Theta! I’ve met countless Phi Delt brothers in my short military career already, and there’s no telling how many I will meet in the future! Being a part of Phi Delt in not just a social thing, it’s not only a group of friends, it’s a family of brothers. I know that I can count on every single one of my brothers to help out with whatever life throws at me and that one of the best things about service to your fraternity is the service you can count on between each other! Recently, I turned in my paperwork volunteering for my first deployment to Afghanistan. I was discussing this with one of my brothers and found out that he too had applied to the same deployment. There would be no one in the world that I would be more proud to serve my country next to than both a fraternity brother and a brother in arms!
Growing up, I always told my family that I was going to join the military when I get older. Mainly because I liked the old war movies, as every little boy does, but also to follow my grandfathers’ footsteps. My family has a long history with military service in which I am very proud to now be a part of! Throughout my everyday life I’m constantly thinking of ways to better myself, my Fraternity, and my Country and the only way of accomplishing any of these task is through ‘Service to my Community , Service to my Fraternity, and Service to my Country!’