Salutes & Awards

April 20, 2012

Annual volunteer recognition ceremony

by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Volunteers are needed every day in communities around the world, but there are few who go above and beyond to change the lives of others and help make a difference.

At Luke Air Force Base, the efforts of volunteers are not overlooked. As part of 2012 National Volunteer Week, a recognition ceremony was held April 12 at Club Five Six to recognize the many volunteers across the wing who have donated their time to good causes over the past year.

“We recognize volunteers regardless of whether they volunteer on or off base,” said Susan Wilinski, 56th Force Support Squadron community readiness specialist. “They’re making a significant impact in their communities throughout the year. They volunteer without expectation of awards or acknowledgment. They are working toward improving the quality of life for their community and other families.”

More than 500 certificates were printed to recognize Luke Thunderbolts who have volunteered over the past year. Of those, approximately 70 volunteers were nominated for an award, and the five winners were announced during the ceremony. A board of three senior NCOs and two officers chose the winners based on the number of hours volunteered, and where and what type of volunteer work was done between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Volunteers were nominated in five categories: youth, nonmilitary, retired military, active-duty military, and the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Volunteer Excellence Award. To be eligible for the excellence award, the supervisor or volunteer agency must nominate the volunteer. This award acknowledges sustained and direct contributions that are significant in character, produce tangible results and reflect favorably on the Air Force.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Sandra Harris was presented with the volunteer excellence award for her many contributions to the Luke AFB chapel. Over the past year, she donated more than 1,300 hours of time, talent and resources to various programs. From feeding Airmen on the flightline and in the dorms, to briefing first term Airmen about protestant services, Harris has a positive effect on people across the base.

“This is the busiest I’ve ever been,” she said. “Everything we do, we give God the glory.”

Motivation for volunteering can come from many different places. Some people volunteer to explore a potential career, fulfill a personal interest, satisfy a need for belonging, or see it as an opportunity to “pay it back.” For Airman 1st Class Brittany Boring, this year’s winner of the military volunteer of the year award, volunteering was encouraged by her parents, who said helping people is one of the most rewarding things in life.

“What motivates me to volunteer is that no matter how small or big the gesture, I am able to touch an individual’s life,” Boring said. “No amount of money in my bank account could ever compare to the feeling I get when I put smiles on people’s faces or make their days better.”

At each volunteering event, Boring learned something about herself and the participants she was helping.

“If I had to pick a favorite event, it would be the Mississippi Special Olympics because it was a life-changing experience,” she said. “My participant stepped up to the challenge and ran a 50-meter dash, even though she had only trained for walking events. She placed second and I will never forget the pride she wore on her face as she stepped onto the podium. Her determination inspires me, and I will never forget her.”

Wilinski hopes people who see their fellow Thunderbolts donating their time and efforts will be driven to make the same decision to volunteer or at least recognize their coworkers.

“I hope the winners motivate you to want to make your own mark on people’s lives,” she said. “This is an annual award, so it’s important for supervisors or individuals to keep record of volunteer hours and events, so that those individuals can be submitted for next year’s ceremony.”

 

 

Volunteer winners:

Youth: Jada Willingham

Nonmilitary: Sherrie Pospisil

Military retiree: Jerold Haupt

Military: Airman 1st Class Brittany Boring

Volunteer Excellence Award: Retired Chief Master Sgt. Sandra Harris

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
141010-F-LC301-009

Nothing stops an Air Force mom

Sheri Caldwell poses with her son, Master Sgt. Douglas Caldwell, 308th Fighter Squadron independent duty medical technician Oct. 10 on Luke Air Force Base. Sheri fell ill with polio as a child and lost the use of her arms. She ...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Jessica Behrens 56th Medical Support Squadron Pharmacist Hometown: Seneca, Missouri Years in service: Three Family: Husband, Chris; daughter, Katelyn, 2; son, Levi, 5 months Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas and doctor of pharmacy from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska Previous assignments: Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida; Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Spring...
 
 
141008-F-NQ441-021

Honor Guardsmen recognized for year of service

Luke Air Force Base Honor Guardsmen stand at attention as they are called to the front of the room Oct. 8 in Club Five Six. The Airmen were recognized and awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal for their one-year commitment to...
 

 

Luke announces Nurse Transition Program graduates

The Nurse Transition Program is a nine-week course designed to transition a novice Air Force nurse into the roles of an independent Air Force practitioner and officer by providing a strong foundation of skills, clinical experiences, and professional nursing activities. Scottsdale Healthcare is one of just four Center of Excellence NTP sites training more than...
 
 
Pg-3-photo

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

This week’s Thunderbolt of the Week goes to an end-of-year team made up of members from multiple squadrons at Luke Air Force Base. Together they awarded more than $50 million enabling 110 mission critical and essential requir...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Senior Airman Jordan Provencher-Olaes 56th Communications Squadron Network infrastructure technician   Hometown: Chandler, Arizona Years in service: Two Family: Parents, Bridget and Rustico Olaes; brothers, Devon and Ethan Provencher Inspirations: My parents gave me the strength and courage to strive in all areas of life; CS leaders’ mentorship has inspired me to be the very...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin