Benjamin Scearce: Ready for Duty
Benjamin Scearce, BC freshman and football player, talks about his experience with the Virginia Defense Force.
September 16, 2011
Bluefield College freshman Benjamin Scearce is on call and ready to assist with any natural disasters that hit the state of Virginia.
Scearce, a criminal justice and forensic science major from Danville, Va., is a member of the Virginia Defense Force, a formal military organization created to assist the Virginia National Guard with tasks stipulated by the governor.
"The purpose of the VDF is to have ordinary citizens instead of having to go into the military that want to stay active in helping with the community," said Scearce. "They are always on call but they don't necessarily have to do missions or go to natural disasters unless they are absolutely needed."
Scearce is a member of the Aviation Battalion, which uses its surveillance technology to scan for areas that are in need of assistance.
"We would be the ones going out and getting people if they were flooded on their roof and trapped," said Scearce. "We would be the ones going out and getting supplies to people that the roads were blocked off to."
Scearce found out about the VDF while interning with the Danville Police Department.
"One of my captains was an actual captain in the Virginia Defense Force," said Scearce. She influenced me to go into it, at least go to a meeting. Ever since then I've been going back."
Scearce and other members of the VDF are on call at all times if any natural disaster happens in Virginia. On Aug. 26, he was called to his hometown in preparation for Hurricane Irene.
"We got put on high alert," said Scearce. "We also did distribution of forces and direction of the aviation surveillance to see where the troops needed to go, where people were in need, where most of the flooding was, and where most of the resources were needed."
Aside from being prepared for natural disaster assistance, Scearce is a member of the Bluefield College football team. He is currently unable to play as he tries to heal from an injury he sustained in November 2008.
"I fell while in the back of a truck and broke my C4-C6 vertebrae and spent three days in the hospital," said Scearce. "They're hoping I'll be released next year for wide receiver. If not, it'll be two or three years after."
Scearce said it has been tough not being able to play, but he is keeping himself active with the football team until he is medically cleared.
"I've been able to be around it and help out as much as I can," said Scearce. "It's still frustrating feeling fine and not being able to do anything.
"All I can do is pretty much walk through plays and work out. Just keep in shape and hopefully I'll be ready whenever I am ready to play. The doctor told me I can do anything as long as it doesn't hurt, but I can't get hit."
Until he can play football again, Scearce will be keeping himself busy with the VDF. He encourages anyone interested in joining to contact him at (434) 203-0335 or to visit the VDF website at www.vdf.virginia.gov.