Fort Leonard Wood held the 2019 Volunteer Corps Recognition Awards Ceremony April 18 in honor of the many hours volunteers have devoted to the installation.
Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, commanding general of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood, and Col. Eric Towns, Fort Leonard Wood garrison commander, presented several awards to exemplary individuals.
Towns thanked the 399th Army Band and the Waynesville JROTC program, who furnished a saber arch for the awarded volunteers. He also expressed his gratitude toward Rhonda Hutsell, installation volunteer program manager.
“I would certainly say that there is a unique spirit of volunteerism right here in America,” Towns said. “But of that American spirit, there is a select few who choose to belong to our all-volunteer force and choose that life of sacrifice.”
“Those are the people we are celebrating today,” he added.
Martin delivered the keynote speech.
In 2018, volunteers contributed 62,445 hours to the installation, an increase of about 6,000 hours from the previous year, she said.
“The service contributed by our volunteers last year is valued at $1.5 million,” Martin said. “That is $1.5 million which the Department of Defense did not have to spend in order to provide services to everyone on this installation.”
The figure was calculated by multiplying the total hours contributed and the average hourly wage of a U.S. worker in 2018, which was $24.69, she said.
Martin equivocated the duties of volunteering today to the colonial Minutemen who volunteered to fight for America’s independence 200 years ago.
“The awardees here today, as well as all of our volunteers, certainly represent the best of our community and beyond,” she said. “Our great nation was founded on the values of the citizens who believed that by working together toward a common goal, they could create a better society and today we honor such citizens and volunteers who continue to inspire the same culture of selfless service.”
Military Volunteer of the Year: Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Watson
Retiree Volunteer of the Year: Phyllis Snyder
Civilian Volunteer of the Year: Chantel Paschal
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Chloe Bollin
Exemplary Volunteer: Morgan Scarborough
Family Volunteer of the Year: The Spoon Family, Kenneth, Amanda, Kimber and Kannen
Maj. Charles Norven
Staff Sgt. Joshua Jimenez