Humphreys volunteers cited at annual ceremony
May 8, 2014
CAMP HUMPHREYS -- To culminate what turned out to be a record year for volunteerism here, the community honored those unsung heroes with a dinner and program at the 2014 Volunteer of the Year recognition event, April 25, in the Community Activity Center.
This year's celebration theme was "Camp Humphreys Volunteers Rock" and featured a buffet of "drive-in cuisine." The overall celebration was tempered, however, with a moment of silence out of respect for the victims and families devastated by the tragic Seawol ferry incident in April.
A total of 890 volunteers contributed 90,536 certified service hours to the garrison during the past year, for a monetary value of more than $2 million. In this case, the year is April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.
During the event, individual recognition plaques were presented to those recognized as Volunteers of the Year is different categories: Spec. Derek Young, assigned to the 719th Military Intelligence Battalion (Active Duty Soldier); co-honorees Shellie Beard and Lisa Green (Family Member); Cpl. Seo Ji-young, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys (KATUSA); Hunter Hoffman (Youth); and co-honorees 602nd Aviation Support Battalion and Company A, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (Unit).
Each individual awardee received a certificate of appreciation, trophy, a full season pass to the Splish & Splash and a "Volunteer Important Person" parking pass.
Also recognized were several Organization Points of Contact, or OPOC's, who are vital when it comes to taking care of the needs of their organizations volunteers. Those recognized were: Ebony Bradley, American Red Cross; Laura Dawson, 6-52 Air Missile Defense Battalion; Jennifer Dickerson, Girl Scouts; Lisa Green, United Club; Allison Hermanson, Family Readiness Group leader for Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 6-52 AMD; Spc. Seo San-woo, Company A, 719th Military Intelligence Battalion and Charles Woods, Guiding Light Lodge No. 95.
Brigadier Gen. Erik C. Peterson, 2nd Infantry Division assistant division commander for support and the Camp Humphreys senior responsible officer, Col. Darin S. Conkright, Humphreys garrison commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Kristine A. Purnell, garrison command sergeant major, were on hand to present the plaques.
"I believe that the true strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of Americans who, every single day, reach out, care for their neighbors and who are invested in the well being of the community," Conkright said. "This year's Army theme for National Volunteer Week, 'Army Volunteers: Changing Lives and Communities,' illustrates the volunteer spirit that is continuously displayed throughout our community."
Also honored during the evening was the Youth winner of the Volunteer Week Essay Contest, Andrew Von Weber, the son of 1st Lt. Jon and Loretta Darrenkamp, of Headquarters Support Company, 602nd ASB. Having recently been introduced to the military lifestyle, he wrote about how taking advantage of volunteer opportunities have changed his life. The Soldier winner was Spc. Bivor Shrestha, a medic assigned to 4th Battalion (Assault), 2nd Aviation Regiment.
At the night's conclusion, Donald Claycomb, the Humphreys Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director and Susanne James, Army Community Services director, presented Peterson and Conkright with a ceremonial check for $2,048,662, representing the total savings volunteers contribute to Area III and Camp Humphreys.