From left are Debby Yackley, wife of Fort Jackson Deputy Commander Col. Stephen Yackley, Youth Volunteer of the Year Megan Marie Reardon, Fort Jackson Commanding General Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Family/Civilian Volunteer of the Year Colleen Briggs, Sgt. 1st Class Jerald Briggs, Fort Jackson Command Sgt. Major Kevin Benson, Retiree Volunteer of the Year Vickie Zelenko and Mary Benson.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson celebrated the efforts of volunteers last week with a reception recognizing outstanding achievements in 2012.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our schools, our (chapels), our hospitals, youth sports, scouts, family programs and family readiness groups," Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Fort Jackson commanding general, told the audience Friday at the Solomon Center. "All of them give their time, talent and resources to create a better community because they truly care and believe it should be done. They don't necessarily have the time, but they do have the heart."

During last week's reception, the post named its volunteers of the year in a variety of categories, ranging from Active Duty Military to Youth.

"Volunteers use their time and talent to greatly enhance the quality of life for Soldiers and family members in our community," said Marilynn Bailey, installation volunteer coordinator. "Today, we honor all volunteers for choosing freely to make a difference. All Army volunteers deserve a round of applause."

Recognized during last week's event were:

Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductees

 Gloria Agostini, nominated by the Main Post Chapel
Why she was nominated: "She is solely responsible for publishing the Catholic Sunday bulletin and organizing the rosters for lectors, Eucharist ministers and altar services for the weekly Sunday services. She serves as a liaison officer for the Fort Jackson Catholic community and the Catholic Diocese of South Carolina, coordinating vital information between the Diocese and the Catholic community on post," said Chaplain (Maj.) Isaac Opara, Catholic chaplain and officer in charge of the Main Post Chapel.

 Carol Davis, nominated by Task Force Marshall
Why she was nominated: "The volunteer is the founder and director of Operation Military Relief Stress Dolls, which is a non-profit organization established eight years ago in Columbia," said Lt. Col. Edmond Barton, commander of Task Force Marshall. "In the past eight years, she has supervised an organization that has created and delivered more than 99,000 Dang-It Dolls to service men and women all over the world. The volunteer was responsible for the organization and establishment of the first Armed Forces Lounge at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, which is now the Columbia Metropolitan Airport USO."

 Retired Col. Henry Greene, nominated by the Main Post Chapel
Why he was nominated: "When a leader is needed, the entire congregation looks to him, for he is the model of Christian servant leadership, never seeking recognition for himself, but always the greater good of the congregation," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Acuff.

 Martha Johnson, nominated by 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment
Why she was nominated: "She spends a significant amount of hours of her personal time to come to core training events so that she can take pictures for the Facebook 'Paparazzi' (page.) The parents of the Soldiers in training have come to rely on Martha to provide photos of their loved ones on Facebook from Alpha Company so that they may see (their) progress and feel the pride in their Soldiers succeeding," said 1st Lt. Kenneth Weathers, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment.

Active Duty Military Volunteer of the Year
Sgt. 1st Class Jerald Briggs, a volunteer treasurer for Moncrief Army Community Hospital Sergeants Association
Why he was nominated: "He continuously recruits new volunteers and always takes the time to thank them for their hard work, selfless service and commitment," said MACH Command Sgt. Major Vincent Bond. "He takes the time to communicate the importance of volunteerism with his children. Currently, his children are planning a schoolwide initiative ... in which the children will be given the opportunity to spend some or all of a recess period picking up litter on school grounds."

Retiree Volunteer of the Year
Vicki Zelenko, a volunteer Catholic youth coordinator with the Main Post Chapel
Why she was nominated: "Our youth coordinator has worked with more than 200 Catholic youths from grades six through 12, organizing retreats that instill Christian and holistic personality development traits and morals that help the youth to mitigate high risk behaviors," said Chaplain Opara.

Youth Volunteer of the Year
Megan Marie Reardon, VolunTeen secretary
Why she was nominated: "(Megan) has contributed significantly as a Fort Jackson Red Cross VolunTeen member and leader ... volunteer at the Richland County Library, Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services and Girl Scouts," said Nalan Miles, of the Fort Jackson Red Cross. "(Megan) is a very well-rounded student and member of her community."

Family/Civilian Volunteer of the Year
Colleen Briggs, leader of the MACH Family Readiness Group
Why she was nominated: "This volunteer has recorded over 1,400 hours of volunteerism into (Volunteer Management Information System) for the Fort Jackson community since March 2012," said Command Sgt. Major Vincent Bond, MEDDAC. "Over half of her documented hours have been as leader of the MACH FRG."

Page last updated Mon May 6th, 2013 at 19:17