FORT HOOD, Texas-More than 90 volunteers throughout the 41st Fires Brigade were honored during the brigade's volunteer recognition award ceremony held at Club Hood, April 13.

Held during National Volunteer Week, Rail Gunner Soldiers and Family members received awards for various events and acts that took place throughout the community and even in the Dallas area. Some of the volunteers were honored for their time spent helping the sick in children's hospitals, the USO, coaching and much more.

The civilian volunteers were honored with brigade certificates of achievements, the military with outstanding volunteer service medal, the certificate of achievement for patriotic civilian service or the commander's award for public service.

"It's important to recognize our volunteers because they do so much," said Andrea Nunez, the family readiness support assistant for the 41st Fires Bde. "We just want them to know what they do is appreciated and that we want them to continue volunteering. It takes a special person to volunteer. I commend our Soldiers and Family members who volunteered because I know their time is very limited."

Most of the Soldiers and Family members being recognized were surprised to receive an award or recognition.

"I didn't find out that I was receiving an award until today," said Easter Thomas, spouse of Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Thomas. "We volunteered for fun, not to be recognized. Volunteering was something the whole family could do and enjoy. We just appreciated being able to give some of our time to help out."

Everyone who volunteered had different reasons and motivation for volunteering, however, all the volunteers had one common goal; to help those in need.

"I like to help other people, it reminds me of home," said Pfc. Lyka Cabigon, a Manila, Philippines native, with 67th Forward Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Bde. "My family runs an organization in the Philippines where we volunteer all the time to help the less fortunate. Volunteering is something that I have to do; it's just a part of me."

Like Cabigon, other volunteers followed her lead to help when and wherever possible.

"Volunteering comes from the heart," said Sgt. 1st Class Armando Rivera, a Brownsville, Texas native, with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 41st Fires Bde. "When you volunteer, you shouldn't expect anything in return except knowing that you've done something good in the lives of others."

Rivera coaches boxing at Miracle Boxing Club assisting amateurs to professional boxers achieve their boxing goals.

Even though the Rail Gunners only host the recognition ceremony once a year, the hard work and sacrifices of the 41st Fires Bde. volunteers will continue to be honor and appreciated year-round.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16