I Corps honors civilians for their service
August 13, 2010
By Rick Wood
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - It was time to honor inductees during the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Civilian Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at the American Lake Community Center Aug. 5.
I Corps Acting Commanding General Maj. Gen. John D. Johnson said the inductees represented the best JBLM has to offer.
"I'm not sure how you guys find the energy or the time to do what you do," Johnson said. "These people didn't hesitate, they made it happen."
Their countless hours of work in support of troops and units across JBLM have made a critical impact on the lives of service members, he said.
Selfless service and dedication describe all three of the new inductees, Johnson said.
Vicky Mohler worked for 32 years in the aerospace industry as an information technology systems analyst. She has been married to her husband Dan for 31 years.
Her daughter Melissa served in the Army as a medic and her son Aaron served in the Marine Corps.
In the fall of 2004, Mohler's son deployed to Iraq. It was then she decided to start an organization sending care packages to deployed service members.
Support America's Armed Forces, which Mohler founded and manages, supports morale, health and welfare of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines far from home.
The organization has sent thousands of packages around various holiday themes for several years.
Michael Fried has dedicated his time as a volunteer for the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade for the past 13 years.
Prior to that, Fried served 42 years active service in the Army and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 5 in 1996.
A survivor of the Holocaust in World War II, Fried has committed his life to selfless service and loyalty to the United States of America.
He currently serves in the role as a mentor in the S1 section of the brigade.
Denise Dhane and her husband John, a retired colonel, started Operation Make A Soldier Smile in 2005.
The organization coordinates donations from businesses, church, community and civic groups to be sent to deployed troops.
The operation has also produced more than 7,500 "welcome home" packages for returning Soldiers and Airmen.
Dhane said she was speechless by the honor of being included in the hall of fame.
"One person doesn't do this," Dhane said. "One person lights a spark."
Dhane said she felt blessed to have the support of the community in reaching out to the service members.
"This is a lifetime achievement,' she said.
Fried said it was the encouragement from his wife that got him started in volunteering after he retired from active duty.
"I really feel very honored and deeply humbled," Fried said. "It's a nice tribute. Thank you so much."
Mohler said she, too, enjoyed a lot of support from the community and from her family.
"This is quite an honor for me to be here today," Mohler said.
Twelve previous inductee names and photographs grace the Civilian Hall of Fame located inside the I Corps Headquarters building on JBLM Lewis Main.
The program began in 2003 as a way to recognize those civilians who make a profound and positive impact on the lives of servicemen and women at JBLM.
Rick Wood is a reporter with Joint Base Lewis-McChord's weekly newspaper, the Northwest Guardian.