By Michael Norris, Pentagram Assistant Editor May 3, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Headquarters & Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall held a volunteer appreciation luncheon ceremony April 30 at the Marine Club on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
"Anytime you volunteer, you do it for a good reason. Nobody forced you to go into the [Marine Corps]," said Col. Ira M. Cheatham, H&S Bn., HQMC, Henderson Hall commanding officer, alluding to the spirit of sacrifice already imbued in those who choose military service. "I appreciate you giving up your time and giving a piece of your life to someone else."
Retired Marine 1st Lt. Lawrence Ward was recognized for putting in 1,600 volunteer hours a year into the Marine community for work he does at the Henderson Hall Education and Career Center. Ward received two President's Volunteer Awards at the ceremony, a gold award for contributing more than 1,000 hours of service in a year, as well as a lifetime achievement award.
In nominating Ward for his award, Education and Career Center Personal and Professional Development Branch Manager Sam Bagwell, wrote: "Ward has supported and assisted the Personal [and] Professional Development Branch at Henderson Hall by volunteering as the Retired Affairs Officer and maintaining the Professional Reading Room for the past 10 years. He volunteers up to 32 hours a week [in] which he provides quality service for retirees, veterans, military family members and [separating] active duty members through counseling, claims assistance, casualty assistance, and military benefits. Mr. Ward's tireless effort and confident approach to his daily tasks allowed him to quickly determine the needs of everyone."
Additionally, Ward was cited for fostering communications between Henderson Hall and the retired military community as a legislative committee chair and advising the command on matters affecting the retired military community. He also serves as liaison with veteran's organizations such as the USMC War Memorial, Marine Corps Drill Instructor Association and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Cheatham, noting the duration of Wood's service, said the former corporal was the "equivalent to a general" in the ranks of volunteers.
Wood held his award aloft before the assembled volunteers and told them, "Everything I got today belongs to you."
Forty other people were recognized for their volunteer efforts at Tuesday's ceremony.
Marguerite Flanagan and Caroline Macasiano were acknowledged for their work on behalf of the Unit Personnel Family Readiness Program. Volunteers who participated in the Marine's School Liaison Program included: H&S Bn., HQMC, Henderson Hall Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Cressman, Capt. Anna Antoine, Staff Sgt. Lucy Arruffat, Lance Cpl. Aldante Ball, Sgt. Daniel Bernal, Cpl. William Brown, Cpl. Xavier Chavarrialopez, Pvt. 1st Class Arlene Cordova, Sgt. Albert Felicio, Lt. Devon Foster, Cpl. Keith Goldwire, Sgt. Justin Gutierrez, Sgt. Vondarious Johnson, Master Sgt. Wendy Kelly, Sgt. Taytra Rhodes, Pvt. 1st Class Kody Sprague, Lance Cpl. Pheng Thao, Capt. Samuel Wickline and Cpl. Michael Zunie.
Those acknowledged for their volunteer work with Marine Corps Family Team Building include: Lance Cpl. Timothy Craven, Sgt. Juanita Delgado, Gunnery Sgt. Maurice Dunston, Sgt. Melody Heyward and Maj. William Matory.
Volunteers recognized for their work with the Single Marine Program included: Lance Cpl. Brian Baker, Sgt. Joshua Gabbey, Sgt. Ellese Lawrence, Sgt. Mary Massingill, Sgt. Chrystalee Muoz, Lance Cpl. Mark Olson, Sgt. Otthelia Searcy, Lance Cpl. Trevor Shirley, Lance Cpl. Kendra Smith and Cpl. Michael Wagner.
Cpl. Amilcar Marroquinsalinas received recognition for his work in both the School Liaison Program and the Single Marines Program. Staff Sgt. Michael Moss received kudos for the hours he put in with the School Liaison Program and Marine Corps Family Team Building, and Cheatham was cited for his work with the School Liaison Program and Marine Corps Family Team Building.
"Giving back makes me feel good," said Dunston, a Marine Corps Family Teambuilding volunteer, describing his motivation. He recalled participating in a garden project at the Arlington County Central Library that benefits the Arlington Food Assistance Center. "It's good to get out and talk with people [in the community] who walked by when we were digging in the garden," he said, explaining how projects like that reinforce neighborliness.