The Fort Huachuca Volunteer Recognition Ceremony and Luncheon was held Wednesday at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre to honor the winning volunteers of the year.
Each year, hours are tracked to ensure that work credit experience is given for those that volunteer. According to Jennifer Rickert, volunteer program manager, Fort Huachuca’s Army Volunteer Corps saved the garrison over $1 million because of volunteer time. The average savings was $22.14 per volunteer hour.
“Volunteers exemplify the quintessential American idea that we can change things, make them better, and solve problems when we work together. You all epitomize this selfless service and for that I thank you,” said Col. Dan McFarland, Fort Huachuca garrison commander.
This year’s Youth Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Meade Thorton. She dedicated over 200 hours of time to Army Community Services.
The Civilian Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Felicia Tucker. Tucker provided over 650 volunteer hours to Army Community Services, the Public Affairs Office and the Network Communications Family Readiness Group.
When asked how she felt about winning the award, Tucker said, “It feels good … it’s never been about the recognition. It’s always been about helping people.”
“When I look at this group, what I think about is the few, the proud, the volunteers,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca. “Having been in the service for over 30 years, and everybody that has a few years under their belt having done this, you know that every place you go, there is a small group [of volunteers] and it often the same people.
“When you volunteer, you see the same spouses, the same civilians in the community. They’re always volunteering; they’re always there. They have lots of kids, lots of responsibilities, lots of things tugging at their time, but they are always able to carve that time out and share.”
Pfc. Shane Freeman, Company B, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, was awarded the Military Volunteer of the Year because of his 400 plus hours volunteered to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Sierra Vista police department, the Sierra Vista animal shelter, and much more. Due to his recent volunteer deployment, he was not present at the ceremony.
“My hats off to you and all you do,” Ashley concluded. “It really is the strength of a nation. It’s the character that you bring. It’s being part of something that is bigger than you are and that is really what volunteerism is.”