Four Soldiers with U.S. Army Garrison Fort McCoy, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, were presented with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM) on Jan. 22 at the installation.
Maj. Eddie Woody, 1st Sgt. Leonardo Ramos, Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Parks, and Staff Sgt. Anthony Cintron received their medals during a presentation by Garrison Commander Col. Michael D. Poss in building 100 at Fort McCoy.
According to the Department of Defense (DOD) description for the medal’s eligibility requirements, the MOVSM recognizes those members of the military (active duty, Reserve, and National Guard) who perform substantial volunteer service to the local community above and beyond the duties required as a member of the armed forces. Such volunteer service must be made in a sustained and direct nature toward the civilian community, must be significant in nature to produce tangible results, and must reflect favorably on the military service and the DOD.
“You hear me talk about how here at Fort McCoy how we value diversity, equality, and inclusion and how that builds strong Army teams,” Poss said after the presentation. “You also hear me talk about how we listen and communicate with respect and understanding. The reason I talk about all that is because it helps build a positive climate. And from that climate, people are empowered.
“They are empowered to make a positive difference — whether it is in their communities, whether it’s at their duty station, or whether it is across the nation,” Poss said. “And one thing that is a part of that comes from volunteering. … I very much appreciate volunteer efforts. I’m a big supporter of volunteer efforts. … These (Soldiers) are great examples of people who give their time to make a positive difference on Fort McCoy and in our local communities.”
After each Soldier received the medal, he shared why he feels supporting volunteerism is important.
“I just enjoy the opportunity to get out and be a part of the community,” said Woody, who earned the award for donating hundreds of hours of time to help support local food pantries and to help coach youth wrestling in several communities. “We don’t do (volunteering) for awards, but it is nice to be recognized. It’s my philosophy that wherever I live, I want to be a part of that community and not just be in that community. I want to have some type of impact or influence on what’s going on.”
Ramos also has given many hours to support local food pantries and food drives and has volunteered a lot of his time supporting outdoor recreation activities at Fort McCoy. He said he’s always happy to give his time to support others.
“(Volunteering) is about taking that passion and sharing your time with the community,” Ramos said.
Parks, along with Ramos and Cintron, has also supported many color guard events in local communities, food and clothing drives, and outdoor recreation activities through volunteering. He said supporting volunteer efforts is important to him.
“Wherever we go, in every duty station I have been, my whole family supports the community,” Parks said. “Giving back to the community is indeed a good thing.”
Cintron has supported all the same activities as his fellow HHC Soldiers and supported his son’s Cub Scout troop with dozens of volunteer hours. He said he grew up in a “rough environment,” so he takes every opportunity to give back to make communities better than what he experienced. He said he especially does things with his son so his son can see how important it is to support communities.
“I want to be an example,” Cintron said.
Eddy added that he’s proud of his fellow Soldiers who were recognized as well as the Fort McCoy Garrison. “I thank you all,” he said.
Poss concluded the remarks after the presentation.
“It’s always great to pay it forward and these (Soldiers) are great examples who I know are going to continue with this effort,” Poss said.
See a related video of the presentation at https://www.dvidshub.net/video/781634/fort-mccoy-garrison-soldiers-awarded-military-outstanding-volunteer-service-medal.
Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.
The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.