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Lasting Impressions: Local angel guides newcomers, longtime residents

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No matter how old I get, it’s never easy being “the new girl.” As a military spouse, moving to Fort Hood marked my 15th military relocation.

Looking for my niche in my new community, I began working as a reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald.

My first assignment was the YMCA membership appreciation event in Copperas Cove.

That’s where I met Doreen Vasseur. Not only did she greet me with open arms, answering all my many questions since I was new to the area, she also made me feel like we had known each other forever.

We have all met those people who instantly put us at ease and who we know we can easily trust. That’s Doreen.

Hearing her thick New England accent, there is no doubt that Doreen is not from the area. Yet, she knows everyone, and willingly and quickly connects anyone who asks with local resources.

“I know people come to me because I am loud,” Vasseur said. I corrected her, telling her people come to her because she is kind.

Everything I admire about Doreen relates back to her faith. She will stick her neck out for someone else if it is the right thing to do — even when it means taking a risk herself.

She demonstrates this every day in her work with children at the YMCA, where she has lobbied supervisors for money to provide outside opportunities, to publicly speaking, kindly but factually, about citizens to highlight their positive attributes, even when they made poor decisions and lost their way in life.

Doreen serves selflessly. She is heavily involved with Grace United Methodist Church as the leader of the youth group involving teens in mission trips both locally and outside the area.

She passes on her duty of service to our younger generation, ensuring a brighter future for us all. She serves on a variety of boards, although you won’t know that until you see her at a meeting.

Although she refers to herself as a loud person, she quietly goes about her work behind the scenes.

Doreen makes good life choices, being married to the same man for decades, having raised her children in the church to become self-sufficient adults who contribute to society, and conducting herself in such a manner that others aspire to be like her.

Never have I heard Doreen utter an unkind word about anyone. In these days of pessimism, this is a rare quality. She truly invests her time in living out her faith.

You could not ask for a more kinder-hearted person than Doreen.

Because of her willingness to spend time with me on that first day, my entrance into the community and my job were forever changed for the positive and I, in turn, pay that forward to others I encounter.

God puts people in our paths for specific reasons and I, and many, many others, are blessed to have Doreen Vasseur crossing ours.

Contact Wendy Sledd at wsledd@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476

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