FORT SILL, Oklahoma (March 4, 2021) -- Volunteers working with Soldier and Family Readiness Groups (SFRGs) to churches to the Red Cross to the Fort Sill Retiree Council were honored at the post’s bimonthly Volunteer Appreciation Night Feb. 25 at the Patriot Club.
Fifteen volunteers and one council were presented certificates of appreciation by guest speaker Col. William Parker, 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander, as they joined him on stage with their families and their unit leaders.
In his welcome, Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, quoted Winston Churchill, who said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
“All I can think is what wonderfully rich lives that each of you have because you give back to others,” the general said. “We all thank you for it.”
Parker said volunteerism inherently captures the essence of the commanding general’s priorities: putting others above yourself, treating others with dignity and respect, and doing what is right.
The colonel detailed the wide range of duties volunteers performed, which included numerous agencies on and off post.
“I certainly can’t think of a better embodiment of our priority of values, fitness, resiliency, and excellence in the fundamentals than those we choose to honor tonight,” he said. “These teammates represent all that is good and right in our Lawton Fort Sill community, and they are proud standard bearers of what we hold dear.”
Pfc. Jonathan Pinkerton, 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery S3 operations specialist, was honored for his work as a keyboardist with the Frontier Chapel Center’s Azimuth service, and Old Post Chapel’s Lutheran worship service. He said he has volunteered with churches a large part of his life. Here, he volunteers about four to five hours per week.
He said the recognition was nice.
“It feels really good to know that I’m part of an organization that wants to recognize people that do good things,” he said.
Volunteer Tia Gordon worked with the Power House Church of God in Christ in Lawton to prepare and deliver 165 food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, said Kenneth Emmerson, the program’s master of ceremonies.
She said the recognition was unexpected, but it’s great.
Why does Gordon volunteer?
“I like to do things for other people,” she said. “It makes me feel good to help someone who needs it.”
Fort Sill USO volunteer Staff Sgt. Erick Alvarez was recognized for helping keep the center open during holiday block leave and cooking Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunches for the post’s gate guards, Emmerson said.
Jennifer Kirby, USO Oklahoma Center director, said the USO relies strongly on volunteers like Alvarez.
“They are the backbone and the force behind what we do,” she said. “Our mission is dependent upon them. We are always grateful for volunteers.”
Staff Sgt. Erick Alvarez, nominated by USO Oklahoma Center.
Pfc. Jonathan Pinkerton, nominated by Azimuth Contemporary Chapel.
Chrissy Rich, nominated by Catholic Women of the Chapel.
Tia Gordon, nominated by Fires Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate.
Rondalyn Wallace, nominated by Fires Center of Excellence G1.
Lynn Stutzriem, nominated by Resource Management Office.
Chris Marks, nominated by American Red Cross.
Adriana Shipma, nominated by 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery.
Chaplain (Maj.) Stephen Taylor, nominated by B Battery, 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery.
Shelby Snyder, nominated by B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery.
Capt. Zachary Griffin, nominated by 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
Capt. Ebonee Ervin, nominated by 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery.
Pfc. Brice Jackson, nominated by Fort Sill Medical Department Activity.
Gunnery Sgt. Robert “Calvin” Taylor, nominated by Marine Corps Cannoneer School.
Angel Allen, nominated by HHB, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery.
Fort Sill Retiree Council members: Retired Lt. Col. Allen Shell, co-chair; Retired Sgt. Maj. Ed Mounts, co-chair; Retired Col. Felix Peterson, Retired Lt. Col. Yvonne Pitts, Retired Lt. Col. Richard Amadon, Retired Lt. Col. Sean Bateman, Retired Lt. Col. Michael Glowaski, Retired Lt. Col. Blake Keil, Retired Lt. Col. Thor Littau, Retired Lt. Col. Jim Rikard, Retired Lt. Col. Rhonda Williams, Retired Maj. Paul Warmuskerken, Retired CW4 Kristy Fair, Retired CW4 Jim Gonzales, Retired CW4 Randall Reynolds, Retired CW3 David Temple, Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jenny Clement-Shaw, Retired Command Sgt. Maj. J.B. Shoopman, Retired Sgt. Maj. Larry Evans, Retired Sgt. Maj. Billy Grant, Retired Sgt. Maj. Mary Fuller, Retired Sgt. Maj. H.E. McClure, Retired Master Sgt. Joseph Herbert, Retired Master Sgt. Robert Kelso, Retired Master Sgt. Kimberly Wendel, Retired 1st Sgt. Stanley Schofield, and Retired 1st Sgt. Matthew Sims, nominated by Fort Sill Retirement Services Office.