By Sgt. Micus Ralls and Franklin FisherApril 26, 2013
CAMP CASEY -- The 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I held their annual Volunteer of the Year Recognition Ceremony April 24 at the Warrior's Club on Camp Casey.
Over the past year 1,117 Area I volunteers gave Warrior Country a total of 24,332 hours of service, which equated to $530,194.28 in money the Army would otherwise have had to spend.
"Americans have a proud history of volunteerism," said Col. John M. Scott, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I, shortly before introducing the ceremony's guest speaker, Maj. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, Commander, 2nd Infantry Division.
"The individual and collective readiness of our volunteers that we are recognizing today," said Cardon, "have impacted the Area I community in ways that no amount of money ever could. It is the hard work and dedication of our volunteers that help sustain our communities…
"Volunteerism is a win-win endeavor for everyone" Cardon said. "It gives you an opportunity to change lives, including those you may not have realized you reached."
Cardon and Scott congratulated each of the 70 volunteers present, who were called to the stage in turn. They posed for photos and were later given a certificate of appreciation for their contributions as volunteers.
Thirty-one volunteers received Presidential Volunteer Service Awards in bronze, silver or gold, according to the number of hours volunteered.
Each Presidential awardee received a letter of appreciation signed by President Barrack Obama, a certificate of recognition issued by the Corporation for Natural and Community Service, and a lapel pin.
In addition, a U.S. Army Installation Management Command "Friend of Recreation" award was presented to Hye-suk Harper. IMCOM makes only four such awards each year and Harper was the recipient for the entire IMCOM-Pacific region.
Harper's volunteer efforts led to the creation of Dongducheon's city bus tour for U.S. military spouses. Harper alone has volunteered a total of 1,800 hours of her time to serving her community.
Also presented were Volunteer of the Year awards, which were in three categories, bronze, silver and gold, based on the amount of hours volunteered.
A Unit Volunteer of the Year award went to Apache Troop, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry.
Active Duty Volunteer of the Year was Spc. Tyesha E. Daniels.
Family Member Volunteer of the Year was Mrs. Melissa Jacobs.
Capt. Joseph Phillips accepted the award for his unit, Apache Troop.
Phillips and Soldiers under his command devoted hours of their time to improving living conditions in their local community. Phillips and approximately 40 Soldier volunteers ventured to a local off-post community, where they unclogged drains and replaced natural obstacles to help drainage during monsoon season.
Daniels, the Active Duty Volunteer of the Year, said in an interview after the ceremony that puts a high value on volunteering.
"I love volunteering my time for anything, whether it's kids or helping those less fortunate," she said. "So being able to help them out in any way possible, it makes me feel good."
Daniels and other Soldiers dedicate every other Friday to helping at a soup kitchen in Uijeongbu, she said. It typically feeds about 300 area residents.
In remarks that closed the ceremony, Scott underscored the importance of the volunteers' contributions, saying that "...without your personal dedication and devotion to both our community and Area I command team, we wouldn't be here today."