Fort Knox Sergeant Audie Murphy Club volunteers assist in pre-Christmas tornado relief efforts
Sergeant Audie Murphy Club members from Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, form a line to move supplies from a facility in Gilbertsville, Kentucky Dec. 19, 2021. With guidance from the American Red Cross, the club members volunteered their time and effort to help those in Western Kentucky whose homes and lives were ravaged by pre-Christmas tornadoes. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fort Knox SAMC) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. – Fifteen service members from Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, joined forces in western Kentucky during the weekend prior to Christmas to assist with relief efforts following a series of tornados that ravaged Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The military personnel traveled to Gilbertsville, Kentucky Dec. 19, 2021, to volunteer through the Fort Knox Sergeant Audie Murphy Club with the American Red Cross’s guidance. Stacy Taylor-Bernard, senior volunteer recruitment specialist for the Red Cross, said the club's efforts proved timely.

Fort Knox Sergeant Audie Murphy Club volunteers assist in pre-Christmas tornado relief efforts
Sergeant Audie Murphy Club members from Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, form a line to move supplies from a facility in Gilbertsville, Kentucky Dec. 19, 2021. With guidance from the American Red Cross, the club members volunteered their time and effort to help those in Western Kentucky whose homes and lives were ravaged by pre-Christmas tornadoes. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fort Knox SAMC) VIEW ORIGINAL

"With thousands of homes affected and damage spanning some 250 miles, this response is a team effort,” said Taylor-Bernard. “The American Red Cross is so grateful for partners like the Audie Murphy group, who assisted the Red Cross over the weekend in unloading, sorting, and loading supplies so our Red Cross volunteers could get out in the impacted communities as quickly as possible."

After receiving an urgent call from the Red Cross on Dec. 18, the Fort Knox SAMC coordinated nine volunteers from Fort Knox and six from Fort Campbell; all from five different units. Sergeant 1st Class Nicholas Razzano, a member of SAMC since July 2018 and a Soldier from U.S. Army Recruiting Command, said SAMC members are a natural fit for these types of missions.

"The Soldiers here are volunteers in many ways; they volunteered their time right before the holidays to help others in need, and volunteered to serve our nation in the U.S. Army,” said Razzano. “It's this form of selfless service and servant leadership that the SAMC looks for when we sponsor [noncommissioned officers] for induction into this prestigious club."

Fort Knox Sergeant Audie Murphy Club volunteers assist in pre-Christmas tornado relief efforts
Members of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club who volunteered include Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Razzano, U.S. Army Recruiting Command; Sgt. 1st Class Aleksandria Pavlenka, Fort Knox DENTAC; Sgt. 1st Class Tom Czarkowski, 19th Engineer Battalion; Staff Sgt. Ronald Excobar, 1st TSC; Spc. Shiann Ramos, 1ST TSC; Sgt. Michael Shaffer, 19th Engineer Bn.; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Octavio Nava, 19th Engineer Bn.; Staff Sgt. Kathy Lora-Nava, Fort Knox DENTAC; 2nd Lt. Tavaris Cannon, 19th Engineer Bn.; Sgt. Allen Walker, 887th Engineer Support Company from Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Sgt. Ashley Taylor, 887th ESC; Sgt. Austin Keiser, 887th ESC; Sgt. Jerril Eisenbeck, 887th ESC; Spc. Johnny Carrien, 887th ESC; and Spc. Jonathan Vigoa, 887th ESC. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fort Knox SAMC) VIEW ORIGINAL

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Editor’s Note: The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is an elite organization of NCOs who have demonstrated performance and inherent leadership qualities characterized by those of Audie Murphy — one of the nation’s most highly decorated war heroes. The Fort Knox SAMC supports both military and civilian communities and provides scholarships to high school students every year. To learn more about the Fort Knox SAMC, visit www.facebook.com/FtKnoxSAMC/, or contact the club at ftknoxsamc@gmail.com.