FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general took time to honor and thank the installation’s volunteers for the priceless gifts of their time, effort and selfless service to help out in all aspects of the community during a ceremony July 24.
Maj. Gen. David J. Francis told the volunteers on hand to be recognized at the Calendar Year 2019 Fort Rucker Volunteer of the Year Recognition Ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum that they represent what is best about the United States of America.
“What an honor it is to be here today to recognize our volunteers of the year,” Francis said at the ceremony that was held to a minimal audience in attendance and broadcast over Microsoft Teams to other personnel. “At a time in our history when our airwaves are full of bad news, it is fantastic to be able to share the good news of the heroes in our midst who demonstrate selfless service, pride in their communities, teamwork and genuine concern for other people.
“This is truly an example of what is best in our nation,” he added. “They serve in our family readiness groups and our thrift shop, they serve as Scout leaders, they volunteer in our chapels and Army Community Service, they are our youth sports coaches, and they serve in our spouses club, our schools and in this magnificent museum, just to name a few. Our volunteers represent all that is great about our nation, our Army, our community and our families.”
The 2019 volunteers of the year are Aaron Druilhet, Youth Volunteer of the Year; Natalie McGrew, Adult Volunteer of the Year; Roy and Leslie Templin, Volunteer Family of the Year; CW4 Heather Sheltrown, Active-Duty Volunteer of the Year; Sue Luther, Helping Hand Award; and Martha Boyle, Lifetime Achievement Award.
He said the six honored as the year’s top volunteers have gone and above and beyond serving the people of Fort Rucker and the local communities.
“They don’t look for recognition, they do what they do because service is a part of who they are, and the content of their character is what led them here today. We are all better as individuals, and as a community, for their leadership and service,” Francis added.
“The team that we have the privilege of working with at Fort Rucker is truly amazing,” the general continued. “We ensure the massive, critical mission of training the future of Army Aviation occurs here every day. Not only are the volunteers that we are recognizing a part of that team, but they are individuals who make Fort Rucker a phenomenal place to work, live, play and pray even under these current conditions.
“It is these volunteers who allow us to thrive as a community,” Francis added. “Our children grow up in a community that demonstrates service to others, and how to treat all with dignity and respect. So, today, we recognize the shining examples of our community, and we thank them for their selfless service and their contributions to our community.”
Each volunteer of the year received a certificate signed by the commanding general, a personalized Alabama clay eagle statue and a volunteer of the year parking pass.
The following are short write-ups on each winner taken from their nomination packages.
YOUTH VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Druilhet went above and beyond his duties as a volunteer, and was recognized for his thoughtfulness and ingenuity for his work with the main post Catholic parish and Enterprise High School, among various other organizations with whom he dedicated his time.
ADULT VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
McGrew was tremendously supportive of both the Protestant Women of the Chapel and the Fort Rucker Spouses Club who served as a role model for young Aviation Branch leaders and their families.
VOLUNTEER FAMILY OF THE YEAR
The Templin family embodied the spirit of volunteerism with their contributions to the main post Catholic parish.
ACTIVE-DUTY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Sheltrown worked tirelessly with multiple organizations across the installation, including volunteering with the Department of Defense Education Activity and youth services.
HELPING HAND AWARD
Luther enriched the lives of service members, families, retirees and civilians throughout the installation through her generous work with the Exceptional Family Member Program.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Boyle has left an indelible mark on the Fort Rucker community and has impacted countless lives throughout the installation. She exemplifies the meaning of serving as the Heart of the Army community.