Mike Bachie, who turned 63 last week, had 316 volunteer hours at Cove House last year in just four months of service, earning him the organization’s 2012 volunteer of the year award.
“When I first put in the paperwork to volunteer here, I called about a week later and asked if they needed me, and they said I could start tomorrow. I showed up the next day, and I’ve been here every day since,” Bachie said.
Despite the recent honor, Bachie is quick to praise others. “Why reward someone for something that they love to do?” he said. “There’s nothing spectacular about me, I’m just an old retired soldier.”
Bachie praised others for the jobs they were doing and tried to diminish his own accomplishments.
“When I was in the Army, they give you a medal, and it’s there to show, and you earned it and everything, and when I got this (Volunteer of the Year) award I didn’t think I did anything special. I just love doing this,” he said.
Not to be outdone, Bachie’s wife of 41 years, Nancy, accompanies him whenever possible, along with grandson Patrick.
“He was getting bored,” Nancy Bachie said, “and I told him to get out and do something. We volunteered here when the place first opened (in 1996), and it was very small. We came back this past year and love helping out.”
Mike Bachie said he wanted to volunteer again to see what was different. “When I first got here (in August), they asked me what I liked. I said I like food. So they put me in the pantry to organize how the food gets handed out, and I enjoy it.”
Cove House officials said they appreciate his hard work.
“Mike has been great for us,” said Volunteer Coordinator Mary Claire Huslage. “He has completely taken over the food room wonderfully. That gives me time to do all the other things I need to do and not worry about the food.”
In addition to housing the homeless, Cove House also has a food distribution program.
Mike and Nancy Bachie originally came to Copperas Cove in 1985 when Mike Bachie was in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood. He retired in 1989 after 20 years of service, including serving in Vietnam.