YONGSAN GARRISON- Forty five years since the transition to the All-Voluntary Force (AVF) of the United States Military, the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan recognizes the volunteers that serve in the voluntary Army today. They are the hidden forces that allows for the garrison to continue its undisturbed journey to 'Strong and getting Stronger,' here, Mar. 19.
The ceremony, recognizing a total of 16 volunteers for the first quarter of the year 2015, was held at the Army Community Service (ACS) building of the garrison. Though it was only an hour long, the celebration was scheduled thoroughly enough to recognize both the volunteers' relentless passion and the garrison's bottomless gratitude.
"There are people (like you) who willingly devote their time, their energy, and some cases their lives for their country, and that means a lot to our nation." Deputy Garrison Commander, Henry Paul Stuart said. "Volunteers like you devote your time, your energy, and your services on behalf of the Garrison Yongsan. Thank you so much for what you do. You truly add to the community."
Each and every one of the volunteers was greeted with loud applause and warm handshakes, and they were given a certificate of appreciation and a kit full of goodies prepared by the ACS staff. The distinguished volunteers were: Chong Im Ahn, Angie Beard, Chief Warrant officer 4 James T. Bingham, Brittany Conlin, Tammy Garbett, Kathy Harrison-Bryant, Rachel Ketterlinus, Heather Peet, Ederlaida Ritter, Thea Seeley, Corporal Hamala Sharma, Colonel Shawn Stroud, Charlotte Lynn VanMeter, Jenica Watkins, Nancy Wheatley, and Specialist Kanavisa Willis.
Unlike the previous ceremonies, where only one nominee has been appreciated as the Volunteer of the Quarter, this year the ACS decided to give it a change. Zenaida Bate, ACS Area II Volunteer Coordinator, gave a word on that issue.
"We opened up a new section dedicated especially for soldiers so they can participate more in our volunteer programs." She said. "It's called the Military Volunteer of the Quarter."
The two volunteers exclusively recognized by the ACS as the volunteers of the quarter were Corporal Hamala Sharma, and Heather Peet. Each awarded two Certificate of Appreciations (COAs), their efforts to the community were extraordinary. Corporal Sharma, the very first Military Volunteer of the Quarter was acknowledged for her outstanding service as AFN volunteer coordinator and BOSS Treasurer with AFN-Pacific. Heather Peet, the Volunteer of the Quarter worked as a volunteer swim coach with Child and Youth Services. The ACS showed their extra appreciation to the Volunteers of the Quarter with a gift certificate for the Commissary.
The Volunteer of the Quarter Recognition Ceremony is held every quarter of the year at the ACS, and volunteer nominations are always welcome. Contact DSN 738-3617 for more information about the nomination process and the requirements for each award category.