By Staff Sgt. Rob Strain, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsApril 21, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers and Family members from the 15th Sustainment Brigade gathered at the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Chapel Apr. 14 to recognize the efforts of 10 volunteers, including the brigade's volunteer of the year.
"Today is a very special occasion for all of us," said Col. Larry Phelps, the brigade's commander. "The segment of our population that is least publicized and gets the least credit is our volunteers."
Volunteers don't sign a contract, they don't get paid, and they get very little recognition for the work they do, Phelps added.
"At the end of the day, what we do is only predicated on what are volunteers are doing to help us," he said.
Phelps explained that the purpose for the event was to take some time to tell the volunteers the two most important words in the English language - thank you.
"The only unfortunate thing about tonight is that we should be recognizing about 1000 percent more folks than we get to do at one of these, because there are a lot more folks out there that do a lot more stuff," he said.
Betty Jo Pritchett, whose husband is a staff sergeant with the 259th Movement Control Team of the 49th Transportation Battalion, was recognized as the brigade's volunteer of the year.
Pritchett serves as a co-leader for the battalion's family readiness group, which she helped to form from scratch last year.
Pritchett also explained that she serves as a volunteer moderator for Operation Homefront, an online forum for military spouses. She spends about 15-20 hours per week online there, helping out other military spouses through the internet.
"There's so much stuff to be done for people," she said. "Somebody has to do it, we all live on this planet together."
She also tries to get her kids involved by being a good example for them to follow.
"They're very volunteer-minded," Pritchett said.
For Pritchett, volunteering is more than just helping others, it is something that she really enjoys.
"It's really satisfying at the end of the night to know that you've done as much as you can," she said.