By Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)April 12, 2018
Several students from the Noncommissioned Officers Academy gathered at Waynesville Middle School to take part in the school's CSI, or crime scene investigation, Night April 4.
The group is just one of several military classes and units that volunteer throughout the community each year.
According to Rhonda Hutsell, Army Volunteer Corp coordinator, this group is just one example of the many contributions NCOA, other students and volunteers make to the installation and surrounding communities.
Hutsell and installation leaders are gearing up to honor the many post volunteers as National Volunteer Week begins Sunday and runs through April 21.
Tammy Davison, 7th grade science teacher at Waynesville Middle School, said the Soldiers, led by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Glover, made the evening "special" for students by providing equipment, expertise and experiences the school would not have been able to provide alone.
The Soldiers, who serve as Partners in Education with the school, helped staff CSI night, provided CSI training, and served as "role models" for the students.
Students travelled around the school to different training activities and then ended the night with solving a "big mystery" by interrogating members of the school administration and other volunteers.
"I believe that having 'real' CSI agents here for the evening helped the students get more excited about the night. Their expertise is something that added to the validity of the evening," Davison said.
"Even helping with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need," Hutsell said. "Our (NCOA classes), do exactly that for our communities. (They) can be found in our communities giving back their time, talent and skills. The impact of what they contribute to the community enhances the quality of life and kindles happiness."
Hutsell said she encourages everyone to find ways to give back to their community through volunteering.
"With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer, however, the benefits of volunteering are enormous," Hutsell said. "The right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career."
Volunteer opportunities on Fort Leonard Wood are numerous. Hutsell said a good starting point for finding opportunities is at myarmyonesource.com.
Installation volunteers will be honored at the 2018 Army Volunteer Corps Annual Installation Award Recognition Ceremony, scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. May 16 at Pershing Community Center. To attend, RSVP by May 9 as seating is limited.
For more information, or to RSVP, contact Hutsell at 573.596.4334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.