Buffalo Soldiers president’s decades of community service
Earl Mack loves to help people. He worked in law enforcement for over three decades, beginning with a stint with the University of Toledo Police Department and ending with his 2012 retirement from the post of Deputy Director of the Ohio Department for Public Safety. Before that, Mack had served as a combat medic during the Vietnam War.
Take the ride
Mack has another love— riding motorcycles.
“I started riding shortly after being discharged from the military in ‘71. I was kind of a young, wild guy back then, and just trying to find myself. I started riding a 750 Honda,” Mack explains.
“Riding motorcycles, you can just feel free. Kind of forget about things and just enjoy the ride. And if you’ve never ridden or been a motorcyclist, it’s hard to understand that. But just hitting the open road is therapeutic.”
Community service on wheels
So it made sense after his career in law enforcement ended that Mack would continue his passion for community service through a new outlet: The Buffalo Soldiers MC, a motorcycle club named after Army regiments of African American soldiers formed after the Civil War.
“In 2011, I joined the Columbus Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers. And I was still working then. When I decided to retire and spend the rest of my time back home here in Toledo in 2013, I put the Toledo Chapter together.”
Mack is the President of the Toledo Buffalo Soldiers, and under his leadership, the club has become a celebrated part of the Glass City community, with service projects like the revitalization of Wilson Park and drawing praise for instructing youths how to deal with the police when stopped.
The Soldiers also work to deliver free meals to veterans who cannot leave their homes on Veteran’s Day. “It’s such a wonderful program, and we do that in conjunction with the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission. And this year, we are so excited because the Ohio National Guard has joined up here in Toledo.”
Mack hits the open road on a Harley these days and often his road trips take him on journeys to help his fellow Buffalo Soldiers across the nation.
“We support other chapters throughout the country, so there’s a lot of that,” Mack said. “Florida, Albuquerque, New Mexico we go everywhere to support those chapters and their events.”
What do you admire in people?
What I admire in people is their willingness and ability to help. This would be a very sad country, and world, if we didn’t have the volunteers that we have across the land. So I admire people that give back to their community.
What is your pet peeve?
I hate ignorance. A pet peeve of mine is to help people understand those things that they don’t understand. And to make sure they understand, especially, to vote.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m a most giving person.
What are the words you live by?
To always be a positive example, and to help humanity.
What advice would you give to the younger you?
To always be persistent in your dreams, make a plan, then achieve that dream by putting it in action.
Who is someone you would like to meet?
I think I would love to meet Robert De Niro. I just really am fond of him.
What inspires you now?
What inspires me, I guess, is the ability to reach out and help others. My firstborn son, Earl Mack III, was killed by a gunshot at the age of ten years old. And so I do all I can to help others, and especially to help parents, to never have to go through something like that.
What’s your favorite food?
I eat so much— if you see my Facebook page, I’m always eating! My favorite food would be any kind of barbeque chicken. My favorite dessert is banana pudding.
Who do you most admire?
I have always wanted to…
perform community service.
Buffalo Soldiers with Danny Glover. And my second favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.