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Army veteran finds joy coaching soccer

Volunteering keeps Coach Beam engaged with local community

Tim Beam coaching the Warriors Indoor Soccer Team. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Coach Tim Beam is an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq as a Utilities Equipment Repairer. In his free time he now wears many hats as a soccer coach, and holds two volunteer positions with the Fircrest Soccer Club (FSC).

Like many parents, when his two boys began playing soccer he stepped in to help out during the indoor soccer season. During the fall season he became an assistant coach and then coach of the Warriors team. After two years of playing on poor fields he volunteered for the FSC board as the Fields Chair, and now serves as the Disciplinary Chair as well. When his oldest son moved onto a select team, Beam remained coach of the Warriors.

"I stayed on coaching and volunteering for the club because I enjoyed it. It was my happy place. It kept me engaged in the community when at times I didn't want to be around anyone," admitted Beam. "Granted, there is stress involved, long hours and long seasons, but I enjoyed playing soccer with the boys. The Warriors team especially kept me around. The players were a great bunch of young men and I felt that I couldn't abandon them. If they wanted to keep playing, I would coach them. And they continued to play, all the way to the end, the first Boys U19 team to play for the club."

"Tim has been a coach for our high school boys' team at Fircrest Soccer Club for several years and joined our Board as Fields Chair two years ago," said Laura Ibarra, FSC President. "In 2017, he volunteered to be head coach for a new team at the boys U8 level. I'll say that as president, I haven't seen a more committed fields chair than him. He spends countless hours tending to our fields at Fircrest Park and Whittier Park. He can be found spreading dirt, laying seed, removing overgrown brush and fixing goalie boxes. He makes sure our goals are up, nets on, and secures them with sand bags. He spends hours lining fields so they are game day ready." 

"One of the most amazing things about Tim is that when his son left the club to play at a more advanced level, Tim stayed to coach the high school team out of sheer love for those players. It is a special person that can give so selflessly to the youth in our community. He is a true blessing to youth soccer and Fircrest Soccer Club," Ibarra added. 

Beam hopes that his volunteer work will create a positive perception of veterans. "I think there are both negative and positive perceptions of veterans," Beam said. "It really depends on who you talk to and the experiences they have had with veterans or soldiers. I had a younger friend that lived in Lakewood and his friends would always tell me, ‘I can't believe you are a veteran, you are not like the soldiers I've met.' I never really knew what that meant, but at least it was meant as a compliment."

"Volunteering for the local community does improve the perception of veterans; at least with people that I come in contact with, he added. "If I have left a lasting impression on these players and their parents of what a veteran can be; then that is just a bonus to all the work I've put in to my teams and this soccer program. I'm not out trying to impress the world; I'm just trying to be a good person while I'm here. I think I have accomplished that."

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