Fort Rucker unit recognizes selfless service
April 16, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Army Family recognized the selfless service of its own during the 110th Aviation Brigade Volunteer Awards Ceremony April 8 at The Landing.
More than 80 Soldiers and spouses received a variety of awards for their service through unit Family Readiness Groups. Brigade Commander Col. Russ Stinger, battalion commanders and their wives presented awards including battalion certificates of appreciation, brigade commander's certificates, certificates of appreciation for patriotic civilian service and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medals.
"The Army and this brigade have a hard job to complete," Stinger said. "(Volunteers) do the necessary work to ensure we live in a great community. The people here today (who) we thank put themselves second to continually help the Army Family."
Last week's ceremony was the first in a long time, according to Lt. Col. Brian Almquist, brigade executive officer. He noted FRGs keep units running and give Soldiers and Families something to rely on.
"(FRGs) build that backbone you need when Soldiers (and Families) need support from the community," Almquist said.
Brig. Gen. Kelly J. Thomas, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker deputy commanding general, recognized six other spouses for their exceptional volunteerism with the Honorable Order of Anne Morrow Lindberg and Margaret C. Corbin awards.
Lindbergh recipients included Shellie Vandevoorde, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment; Karyn Halverson, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment; Kathie Burns, 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment; and Jana Almquist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 110th Aviation Brigade.
Almquist, a 20-year volunteer, said she believes giving back is her duty and encourages others to join her.
"First and foremost, I support my husband and Soldiers," she said. "We all support our troops and a great way to do that is (to) volunteer."
Vandevoorde encouraged all spouses to become involved in FRGs, whether they choose to volunteer or not.
"It's not about what you can get, but what you can give," she said. "Don't be shy. Your presence (in a unit) means more than you ever know."
Great volunteers lead by example, which can earn them the award named after the wife of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, according to Capt. Guillermo Martinez, 110th Avn. Bde. adjutant.
"What (Anne Morrow Lindbergh) did is simple to follow. She blazed the trail for us," Vandevoorde said.
Mary Thompson, 1st Bn., 11th Avn. Regt., and Irene Sherman, 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment, accepted the Corbin awards from Thomas.
Sherman agreed with her peers about volunteering.
"This is your Family away from home," she said about military units. "Help the community and give back."