Fort Huachuca honored its dedicated volunteers of 2013 Tuesday during the annual Fort Huachuca Volunteer Recognition Ceremony and Luncheon at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre.
“Its really extraordinary what we have in terms of the Army Family and the volunteers and how they support us, but when you think about volunteerism, it makes me think about the most important thing that we do in the Army — we grow leaders,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca.
“We grow leaders in the Army and in the community,” continued Ashley. “And that is exactly what a volunteer is, a leader.
Sometimes leadership is as simple as showing up, saying that I care, the event is important, and I want to lend a hand.
“Let me be the first one to say thanks to the future winners and to all the volunteers here today for your tens of thousands of hours of volunteer time, of which no amount of pay can compensate.”
Ashley cited numerous anecdotes said about volunteers through the years, including a quote “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands, you need to be able to throw some back,” symbolizing the importance of giving in ways such as volunteering one’s time, versus always taking from others.
During the ceremony, Michael Chambers, Army Volunteer Corps coordinator, Army Community Service, presented Col. Dan McFarland, Fort Huachuca garrison commander, an oversized check in the amount of $1,062,290.92, representing the amount of money that Fort Huachuca’s Army Volunteer Corps saved the garrison during 2013.
Fort Huachuca volunteers donated a total of 47,171 hours. Each hour is valued at $22.52.
The 2013 Youth Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Brandyn Tagg who dedicated 50 hours of his time to the Environmental and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence.
Jennifer Riley accepted the Civilian Volunteer of the Year award. Throughout the year, Riley dedicated more than 800 hours to the 40th Expeditionary Battalion and the American Red Cross.
“The selflessness of volunteering is what I like most about it,” Riley said when asked what she enjoyed most as a volunteer.
“[Volunteering] is a nice way to give back to the community. The military does so much for us so it is nice to give back to them.”
The Military Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Command Sgt. Maj. Brenda Kadet, Information Systems Engineering Command, command sergeant major, because of her 450 hours of volunteer service to General Meyer Elementary School, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and the Sergeants Major Association, in 2013.
When asked how she felt when announced as the Military Volunteer of the Year, Kadet said, “I didn’t even know I was nominated. How do you say ‘blown away’ in a professional manner?”