My Y Story – Phil Clapin
Every generation of my family has chosen to swear an oath to defend the country of their homeland. After hearing the heroic stories of my grandfather, a World War II Royal Air Force fighter pilot who was shot down over France only to triumphantly return months later to England to be knighted by the Queen of England herself, I knew I wanted to follow in the family’s footsteps. If there was ever a role model to follow, he was it.
Shortly after receiving my degree at Eastern Washington University, I made the decision to join the Air Force as an Air National Guardsman. The subsequent year after this decision was perhaps the most challenging yet greatest in my life; helping shape who I am today. Finding strength, undiscovered motivation and a greater appreciation for life, the military also instilled into me a pride I had not known that only comes with serving my country and state. Because of this, a day does not pass where I would not drop everything to defend our country, or, just recently, respond to an emergency affecting our great state. With our state’s worst fire season, I was called on to provide support to our courageous firefighters during their time of need. This was a humbling experience for me and I will never forget all those I met.
Working with the YMCA, I continue to have the opportunity, each and every day, to be an integral part of the Spokane community and help serve those health seekers looking to make positive changes in their lives. Being a part of the Y has afforded me the chance to contribute to a cause that is so much greater than I. At the Y, I have grown as a person and have a greater understanding of what it means to be socially responsible. Upon completion of a long work day, it is rewarding to know I have made a constructive difference in someone’s life. But, I am not in this alone. Without the wonderful staff, members and all those committed to making our Y a special place, this could not be done. Thank you to everyone who makes our Y great!