D-M recognized its top volunteers by presenting the “Volunteer of the Year” award here, April 23.
Desert Lightning Team members were recognized during the 355th Fighter Wing standup as part of National Volunteer Week.
Military Volunteer of the Year
Senior Airman Zachary Hurst, 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron, was the 2012 Air Combat Command Scouting Salutes the Military winner. He instructed 180 Boy Scouts of America merit badge classes, coordinated seven events and oversaw 20 ceremonies, impacting 1,800 boy scouts. He provided meals to 245 homeless individuals, supervised a 20-acre cemetery beautification project and served as a clean-up member after three hurricanes.
Civilian Volunteer of the Year
Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Bill Love, Retired Activities Office deputy commander, received the RAO Volunteer of the Year. He is dedicated to educating and keeping retired service members informed. He counseled countless retirees concerning entitlements and on-going benefit programs. He conducted the retiree orientation course attended by more than 150 retirees.
Spouse Volunteer of the Year
Carolyn Ell, 1st Battlefield Coordination Detachment key spouse and 355th Force Support Squadron volunteer, presented 350 hours of combined financial classes and one-on-one counseling for the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Wellness Program. She dedicated 185 hours to the Airman & Family Readiness Center, created two financial courses, taught 11 classes and provided 46 personal financial counseling sessions. As the 1st BCD key spouse, she provided support to 35 U.S. Army families.
Volunteer Excellence Award
The US Air Force Chief of Staff authorizes this award for federal civilians, family members, military retirees and federal retirees who perform outstanding volunteer community service. The VEA recipient for 2013 is Kristi Ann Harris, 41st ECS spouse.
Harris organized 26 squadron and group social events in 2012, boosting family participation by 33 percent. She inaugurated a unit permanent change of station program designed to ease the relocation transition, which served 90 families during the year. She organized the Baby Meal Train program, which provided pre-cooked meals for six families who recently returned home with newborns. She hosted 10 bi-monthly activities for parents, organized a post-operational readiness inspection barbecue for 50 families, raised more than $600 for squadron events and administered the 55th Electronic Combat Group’s spouse Facebook page.