Armed Forces YMCA has new executive director - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Armed Forces YMCA has new executive director

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A local YMCA that offers free services to soldiers in the Lawton-area is now under new leadership.

Lawton resident Carol Herrick will begin her new job as executive director of the Armed Services YMCA Lawton Fort Sill on Monday.
She replaces long time executive director Bill Vaughan, who retired last year. The Armed Services YMCA is located on Cache Road and offers a free food pantry and clothes closet, as well as affordable day care for soldiers.

Herrick has been volunteering at the Armed Services YMCA and making donations to the organization for several years, so she says she is already pretty involved with the group. But her experience doesn't stop there because she and her husband have also been a recipient of their services when they moved to Lawton several years ago

"I had a high-risk pregnancy, we were a one car family and their transport van would pick me up for medical appointments and bring me to the hospital,” Herrick said. “So, having gone from using them through different phases of my life, then being a donor and working with them as a partner, it's really interesting to come full circle and be in this seat."

Herrick said that previous experience with the Armed Services YMCA makes her the perfect person for the job.

"It gives me a unique perspective because I have been in those shoes, I know exactly what these families are going through I was once dropped in the middle of Oklahoma, very different than where I grew up and had to kind of figure it out."

Herrick worked for the Army for several years before going into nonprofit with Operation Homefront. She says she never expected she'd be taking on this role.

"This has always been a dream of mine so that it has actually come to fruition is just a blessing that I can't even explain,” Herrick said. “So, I'm super thrilled to be here, can't wait to get started just looking forward to being back in this community."

Herrick officially starts Monday but says she has lofty goals she wants to accomplish.

"We have this beautiful new facility and I'd like the community to know more about it and that we're here and about the good work we're doing,” Herrick said. “So, I think that's going to be something that is going to be a priority for me, just talking about the team and all the great work that they do and the soldiers and their families and telling their stories to the community and letting them know what their needs are."

As for what she is looking forward to the most, Herrick says it's those daily reminders of what her work is all about.

"It's when I have a hard day I have all those kids out there that I can go play with and really remind me of why I'm here...and that's to serve families,” Herrick said.

Herrick said the Armed Forces Center is there primarily for the junior enlisted soldiers who are away from home for the first time but says they are open to all members of the military who are in need.

If you need help or want to volunteer, you can give them a call at (580) - 355 – 5520 or visit their website here.

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