Volunteers honored at Stewart-Hunter
January 27, 2010
<b>FORT STEWART-HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. </B>-- Nearly half of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield's 1,400 volunteers were recognized in formal receptions held at Club Stewart, Jan. 19 and Hunter Club, Jan. 20. Brigadier General Jeffrey E. Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general-rear, spoke at each reception, welcoming the volunteers and thanking them for their selfless service. After quoting Mahatma Gandhi's famous words, "Be the change you want to see in the world," he congratulated Stewart volunteers for "being the change they wanted to see by giving" of themselves, which he said made them "fully-functioning human beings."
"When I thank volunteers for their service, they usually thank me for the opportunity to serve," Brig. Gen. Phillips told Hunter volunteers the following evening. "They see the value in serving our nation."
In his own welcoming remarks to Stewart volunteers, Col. Kevin W. Milton, Stewart-Hunter garrison commander, called volunteers the "secret ingredient" in the great services provided to installation Soldiers and their Families. Lieutenant Colonel Jose L. Aguilar, Hunter garrison commander, personally welcomed and thanked Hunter volunteers then passed along the installation commander, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo's downrange message from a live television interview that he appreciated those "outside the gates" for the things they do to support Soldiers and their Families, including "volunteering time and energy here at home."
"Volunteering is more than a helping hand," explained Ginger Cucolo, wife of Maj. Gen. Cucolo, 3rd ID commanding general. "It's a lifeline for Soldiers and their Families. I'm so glad these folks make the choice to serve - we need them in every way."
Each of the volunteers completed a card explaining why they volunteer as they arrived at the reception. Most had only a few, modest words. Others filled the card with heartfelt reasons why they volunteer.
"I love my Soldiers, and I'm proud to volunteer with my husband, Walt, who is a Vietnam veteran," said Charlene Peters, a Red Cross volunteer. "We both want Soldiers to get a proper reception when they leave and return. Soldiers didn't get that when Walt returned."
Some other reasons volunteers said they give their time to other include the following:
"I like to meet other spouses and do new things."
"It's a great way to stay updated with what's going on with the company."
"I enjoy helping others."
"My mother taught me if you don't help others, you're not helping yourself."
"I volunteer because somebody has to."
After welcoming and thanking the volunteers for coming to the reception, each volunteer who came was invited to go through a receiving line to be greeted by installation leaders and awarded a certificate naming him or her as a "Star of the Marne."