Eddie Lawrence Sr. and his wife, Joan moved to Dayton about four months ago from Las Vegas. They had been to the area many times before visiting friends.
"When you can look out your living room window and see kids having sex on the elementary school playground, it's time to go," said Lawrence. "So we sold out, packed up and moved to Dayton."
It didn't take Lawrence long to get involved in his new community. Within a matter of days, Lawrence began volunteering at the Dayton Senior Center.
"I was looking for something to do to help people out. I feel that by volunteering I can give back to the community what I've taken out. And I can help do a lot of stuff."
Lawrence has been selected as the center's Senior Volunteer of the Week by Site Manager Shannon Coday.
"Eddie has been a great volunteer for us here at the center," said Coday.
"He's here first thing in the morning and gets the flags put up on the pole. And he was instrumental in obtaining a POW (prisoners of war) flag to be raised in addition to the American flag. We have a lot of POWs and veterans at the center."
Lawrence was in the Forward Advanced Intelligence Reconnaissance Unit, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Rangers, from 1958-1964. He is a veteran of the Korean Conflict. Lawrence got the POW flag from Capitol Post No. 4 of the American Legion, of which he's a member.
Eddie and Joan have been married 17 years. Eddie has four children from a previous marriage; Suzie, who is deceased, Eddie Jr., Dennis, and Brenda, all of Bakersfield, and seven grandchildren.
Though he hasn't gone yet since moving to Dayton, Eddie enjoys fishing and camping. He likes to go just to relax.
"I'm a senior and my wife's a senior. I come to the center most every day, and Joan comes in every now and then to play cards.
"The people at the center are very nice and congenial. I haven't found anything wrong with it. People here take the center very seriously. That helps us to be able to come in and just take it easy and have a good time.
"Everyone is very friendly here, unlike Las Vegas. In Las Vegas you don't get involved. People just don't talk to you there. They're not friendly at all.
"To me, the center is a good place. They serve good, hot meals. It's a good place to come to. I don't look for any glory or recognition by helping out, I do it because I want to. Whatever I can help Shannon with, I do it."