Red Cross volunteers give 28,000 hours to Fort Hood Soldiers and Families
May 16, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas--They generously gave 28,471 hours of their time over the past year to help Fort Hood Soldiers, retirees and family members without expecting anything in return.
As a way to say thank you for their selfless dedication and commitment, the American Red Cross at Fort Hood recognized more than 200 volunteers at its 2012 Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, treating them to a Texas-themed celebration and barbecue at the Phantom Warrior Center May 8.
"The American Red Cross is a volunteer-led organization. Without volunteers, we would not be able to provide a level of service that we do," said Mary Basiliere, Fort Hood's senior station manager of the American Red Cross.
Volunteers provide a multitude of services through many different programs. The majority of them serve within areas of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center providing much-needed services such as aiding medical staff in various duties and running a parking-lot shuttle service for patients. In addition to patient services, Red Cross volunteers coordinate the Summer Youth Volunteer Program at the hospital and the Dental Assistant Training Program with the Fort Hood Dental Command.
"I'm proud of each and every one of our volunteers. It's not always easy to work for free, especially in these tough economic times," Basiliere said. "But I'm amazed that so many have stepped up and come through for us. They are so willing to do whatever is asked of them. That's what's really great about our volunteers."
For many, the military lifestyle is an ideal fit for a career of volunteer service. The Red Cross is everywhere the military is, and there's always a need for volunteers.
"I've been fortunate to be able to serve as a volunteer throughout my life. It gave me the best of both worlds--allowing me to fulfill my passion of helping people while giving me the flexibility to work on my own schedule," said Gail Pierce, dental chairman for Fort Hood's American Red Cross. "My husband has since retired from the Army, and also from civil service, but I still enjoy volunteering and helping the Soldiers. It is my way of giving back a little."
Pierce was recognized at the ceremony for her long-time service, having served in various volunteer and paid positions with the Red Cross for more than 30 years.
"I always wanted to be in the medical field, and started out as a volunteer nurse's aide at a local hospital in California when I was 16," Pierce added. "My years with the Red Cross have been the most rewarding time. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing."
Also at the ceremony, the American Red Cross at Fort Hood paid tribute to a beloved volunteer, Elaine Boneparte-Johnson who passed away due to a short illness. She volunteered in the American Red Cross office at CRDAMC and at the Warrior Transition Brigade. To remember her "gentle spirit, kind words and caring ways" the American Red Cross presented her son, Evan Johnson, with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of Elaine.