Ceremony recognizes Fort Benning's top volunteers
May 30, 2012
FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 30, 2012) -- More than 50 volunteers and organizations were honored at the Volunteer Awards Ceremony May 22 at the Benning Conference Center's Supper Club.
"Family members, spouses, Soldiers, civilians, retirees -- you make up the volunteer core here at Fort Benning and I can't thank you enough for everything you do," said Patti Brown, wife of Fort Benning Commanding General Maj. Gen. Robert Brown. "We could not do what we do here at Fort Benning without you."
Starla De Saussure, Fort Benning's Army Volunteer Corps program manager, presented Fort Benning Garrison Commander Col. Jeffrey Fletcher with a check worth $1.9 million. The check reflected the more than 89,500 hours of volunteer service for Fort Benning. Each hour was valued at $21.79.
In accepting the check, Fletcher said volunteers made a huge difference in the Fort Benning community.
"I'm amazed when I see you out and about in the community … amazed at your energy and the passion that you bring to your respective areas," he said. "(When) you think about what that check represents as a garrison commander who is faced with a lot of fiscal and financial challenges -- it just really goes to show that we are very fortunate to have the caliber of people that comprise the Fort Benning community and Family."
De Saussure encouraged those who weren't volunteering to do so.
"I (am often) asked to do different things and I wonder, 'ok, there are only 24 hours in a day, there's only seven days in a week, how can commit myself to one more obligation?' After I go volunteer or do whatever is asked of me, I feel so much better inside about what I've done and how I've given back that I probably get more out of it than the people that I went to serve. So I want to encourage you or challenge you to get out and volunteer," she said.
She said the number of volunteers recognized has increased since 2010 -- when they recognized 36 people.
"That is a lot of people who have over 500 hours," she said about the volunteers recognized. "If you total up everything … (there was) close to 33 or 34,000 hours."