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US Air Force vet still strives to serve community

MSgt. Hank Herrick, who served 30 years in the military, now holds the role of Executive Director of the Permian Basin Mission Center.

ODESSA, Texas — Chief Master Sergeant Hank Herrick has lived a life of servant leadership, including 30 years active duty with the United States Air Force from 1983 to 2013.

“One of the core values for the air force, three core values, is service before self," Herrick said. "You hear a lot of talk about servant leadership, well we lived it in the military.”

After serving his country, Herrick decided to serve his community in Odessa, first landing on a college campus for nearly three years.

“At UTPB, I served as a University Training Coordinator for a year, and then did a couple years in what’s called a physical plant," Herrick said. "Basically, taking care of, or as the operations supervisor for landscaping, maintenance and event set up."

From there, Herrick took a position at the United Way of Odessa as Executive Director for six years, a job that was also once held by a veteran.

“A retired army coronel, Tom Purcell, said 'hey this job is coming open, I'm retiring,' and I just thought it was a perfect fit, so yeah, I'm very proud of the service for six years at United Way," Herrick said.

Today, you can find Hank at the Permian Basin Mission Center, where he’s held the role of Executive Director since June, seeking to help those in need and to fight hunger in the community.

“I was actually retied for about two months, and then realized I didn't like it too much," Herrick said. "I still wanted to give back, and still wanted to do something. And so I interviewed for this position, got hired, and my first day was June 27, and I really enjoy it. Permian Basin Mission Center does serve the community, and close to 9,000 households are being impacted just this year, and we’ll crack 10,000 easily. We help folks with rent, utilities and food, and we have a clothing store where we do not sell our clothes, they donate to us, and we donate them back to the community. So, I'm pretty proud of it. So yeah, if you spend 30 years in the military serving your country, then it’s a good fit to get into a non-profit and serve the community.”

Herrick continues to sacrifice for others and live his life by one word.

“Leadership. Yeah, they told us leadership was the ability to inspire and influence people to accomplish a common objective, and it rings true in any facet, whether it was at UTPB, United Way and now for the Permian Basin Mission Center," Herrick said. "So in the military, they just institutionalize you in that leadership and expect it of you, so when you come out to a job like this, it is a good fit.”

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