By Staff Sgt. Mark MirandaMarch 5, 2014
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 7th Infantry Division held its second Division Volunteer Recognition Ceremony at Carey Theater on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Feb. 27.
The quarterly event recognized soldiers and family members of seven brigades and the Headquarters Support Company who have donated their time to make an impact in the lives of others throughout the South Sound communities.
"We're here today to thank those who are willing to give time, who give effort, who step away from doing something else in their lives that's just as important," said Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, 7th Infantry Division commander. "They have a passion, a desire - they want to be a part of something larger than themselves and contribute not only to this organization but to our families, our service members, our great army, and our great nation."
The 21 individuals recognized for their volunteer efforts sat in the front center rows and received a standing ovation. One by one, they walked onto the stage as an announcer read a list of their accomplishments.
Several of the awardees had logged hundreds of volunteer hours or were invaluable supporters of unit Family Readiness Groups.
Irene Goodman's husband is a first sergeant deployed with the 22nd Engineer Clearance Company, 555th Engineer Brigade. "I stayed busy, trying to coordinate monthly events with the families," said Goodman. "I worked with a really great group of people, who put together baby baskets for the newborns in the unit and around 900 care packages."
A few active-duty soldiers received recognition, including Spc. Jeremy McFadden, a motor transport operator from Walterboro, S.C., assigned to Headquarters Support Company, 7th Inf. Div.
McFadden put in more than 70 hours as a football and basketball coach for Child Youth Services.
"I got into coaching through my neighbor who asked me to do so with him. I enjoyed it and stuck with it, so I'm happy getting recognized along the way for those early weekend mornings," said McFadden, who will continue coaching youth track.
Ferrell and 7th Infantry Division Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Murphy presented the honored volunteers with certificates of appreciation thanking each, "for their personal courage, selfless service, hard work and demonstrated professionalism in improving the community and readiness of 7th Infantry Division."
"For all of you that are not getting awards or recognition today, put it on the calendar - we'll do another one and you too can come up here," Ferrell said. "Ask some of these individuals how they manage their time to get everything done and still be a volunteer, because undoubtedly it can be done."