THORNTON- Every year 9NEWS picks nine outstanding people doing incredible things in our communities who deserve a little extra recognition.
They are awarded our 9WHO CARE award. One of the winners this year is Andrew Green.
By day he's an aircraft mechanic, taking apart plane propellers, cleaning 'em up and putting 'em back together...
"It's pretty cool. You take a propeller like this all dinged up from rocks and we get it looking pretty much brand new and put it back on the plane and get to watch it fly away," Andrew Green said.
It's that passion for fixing what's broken that translates to his other passion.
Green served in the U.S. Coast Guard. There are parts of it that he loved and other parts he still struggles to talk about.
"When I was in the Coast Guard I had a friend that was sexually assaulted and me and another friend stepped in and stopped it," Green said. "[The perpetrator] got off on all counts so I was pretty angry about it.. I had a choice: to either let it go and pretend nothing happened or do something about it and try to help other people that are experiencing sexual assault."
Green chose the latter and his passion by night for the past three years has been volunteering for the Blue Bench.
The Blue Bench opened in 1983 and helps those affected in any way by sexual assault.
Green volunteers for the 24 hour hotline.
"You get really hard phone calls but at the same time, it's kind [of] heartwarming the fact that you are able to help out sexual assault victims," Green said.
And one thing that sets him apart from the rest is pretty basic: He's a man.
"I've had a few callers that were startled because they weren't expecting to hear a male voice," Green said. "Sometimes they're relieved to hear a male voice because it shows that not all guys are horrible and there are guys that can be trusted."
So after a long day in the shop, Green comes home and goes on-call for anyone who needs an ear.
"It can be kind of hard because the shifts go late into the night and in the middle of the night you might get a call at two in the morning and we have to be able to get up, shake it off, maybe drink a RedBull and get ready for what could be an emotional rollercoaster," Green said.
You wouldn't think a bearded, ex-Coast Guard, airplane mechanic would be on the other line but he is and his hope- it to change the statistics one call at a time
"It's the most under reported crime. 90 percent of rapists will never see a jail cell, and only one in four assaults will be reported," Green said. "This isn't just a women's issue. This is everyone's issue. I really hope people will see this and take a different look at sexual assault."
To learn more about the Blue Bench: http://thebluebench.org/
Congratulations to 9WHO CARE Winner, Andrew Green.
(© 2015 KUSA)