FORT HOOD, Texas - “They don’t do it for a paycheck and they don’t do it for recognition,” Maj. Gen. John Richardson, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander, said during the 2021 III Corps and Installation Volunteer of the Year Awards Ceremony here June 7. “This is the best that Fort Hood has to offer.”
The ceremony at Club Hood recognized the efforts of 33 honorees who have made a significant contribution through volunteerism at Fort Hood and the surround communities. The 33 honorees were selected from among Fort Hood’s 5,200 documented volunteers, who have contributed more than 49,000 volunteers for the year. The volunteers’ hours saved Fort Hood more than $1.3 million for the year.
Lori Harrison, the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Volunteer of the Year, was surprised with the Installation Volunteer of the Year award during a separate ceremony, prior to her husband's change of command ceremony May 27.
“Overwhelmed, really, with just emotion … It is an amazing honor,” Harrison said following the surprise presentation during her husband’s change of command ceremony at CRDAMC. “It’s just very overwhelming and very humbling. To know that I was even just nominated, let alone selected, is just a huge honor.”
Harrison, who has been an Army volunteer for more than 24 years, volunteered more than 800 hours in 2020-2021 to CRDAMC and the school her children attend, among other places.
“I just see a need and I fill it,” she said.
One of those needs was single-handedly mowing, weeding and clearing an overgrown softball complex for children to be able to play at during the height of COVID-19.
The honorees, who were selected as their unit or organization volunteer of the year, were treated to a dinner, followed by the awards presentation, where every honoree was presented a trophy and certificate from Richardson and his wife Deanie, and Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, III Corps and Fort Hood command sergeant major, and his wife Kate.
“We’ve got volunteer Soldiers, we’ve got youth volunteers, we’ve got senior volunteers, we’ve got civilian volunteers and each of them have their own story and they volunteer for their own reason, but when it comes down to it, they volunteer because they care,” Richardson said. “They have a common purpose and a common goal, which is a better community that we all live in … to leave that foxhole a little bit better than we all found it.”
The volunteers fundraised for their organizations and worked tirelessly to make Fort Hood a great place for Soldiers and families to live and work, said Richardson.
Spc. Dayna Fyffe, the 504th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade Volunteer of the Year and a runner up for Installation Volunteer of the Year, was instrumental in creating and implementing things, particularly for single Soldiers. She advocated for lit walking paths and increased security for single Soldiers in the barracks. She also coordinated to conduct a tree planting event at Monarch Park in Nolanville.
“I don’t volunteer for recognition. I don’t like being in the spotlight, I just do what I can,” Fyffe said. “I’m very, very blessed and appreciative.”
The complete list of all honorees include:
• Sophia Wordon, youth category
• Darrell Davis III, youth category
• Alexis Lake, youth category
• Retired Staff Sgt. Jonathan, Carmen, Cameron, Joleo, Ryan and Peleni Cruz Taisacan, family category
• Bonnie Vona, 1st Cavalry Division
• Christin James, 1st Air Cav. Brigade, 1st Cav. Div.
• Frances-Elizabeth Stafford, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div.
• Angel Eagan, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div.
• Sgt. David Lear, 3rd BCT, 1st Cav. Div.
• Cara Everson, Division Artillery, 1st Cav. Div.
• Capt. Vashund Gilmore, 1st Cav. Div. Sustainment Bde., 1st Cav. Div.
• Sgt. Cassady Fulks, 3rd Cav. Regiment
• Jessica Marchik, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command
• Kelly Siech, 15th MI Battalion
• Emily Dirks, 89th Military Police Bde.
• Kortnee Ann Rotante, 206th MI Bn.
• Spc. Dayna Fyffe, 504th MI Bde.
• Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Doge, United States Army Operational Test Command
• Lucky Baker, Army Community Service
• Lori Harrision, CRDAMC
• Patricia Siqueiros, Soldier Recovery Unit
• Spc. Ryan Coleman, Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers
• Sgt. Joshua Kirk, Child and Youth Services
• Adriane Glick, Directorate of Public Works
• Katie Wayan, Fort Hood Area Military Family Member Scholarship Fund
• Manuela Gonzalez, Fort Hood Area Thrift Shop
• Laura Porter, Fort Hood Santa’s Workshop
• Jennifer Cegledi, Fort Hood Spouses’ Club
• Latecia Mesngon, Garrison Chaplains Office
• Graciela Phelps, Heart of Hood Gift Shop
• Yolanda Jenkins-Darnell, senior category
• Jacqueline Duncan, senior category
• Spc. Charles Bassett, Soldier category
“You could tell these folks are servant leaders because when they got up on the stage, they were a little embarrassed to be out front because they’re used to working behind the scenes,” Burgoyne said about the volunteers. “Part of being a great American is volunteering, not only for our Soldiers, but our community, because that’s where we live and work and we can’t do it without our volunteers.”