FORT KNOX, Ky. - Sgt. 1st Class Carol Newland, sexual assault response coordinator, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, was recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award here April 28.
The civil award, bestowed by the President of the United States, was established to honor volunteers who have completed more than 4,000 volunteer hours.
Lt. Col. Kibitlewski, commander, Special Troops Battalion, 1st TSC, presented the award to Newland for completing a cumulative 4,230 hours of volunteering and spoke about her giving spirit and commitment to helping others.
“Sgt. 1st Class Newland not only volunteered to do what less than one percent of the population volunteers to do,” Kibitlewski said, referencing Newlands decision to enlist in the military, “but she continues to raise her hand and give her time.”
Newland received a certificate of appreciation, a letter signed by the President of the United States, and a Lifetime Volunteer Coin.
“Each time I sign up to volunteer, it takes me back to this famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi – ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others,’” she explained.
Newland’s volunteer hours began in 1996 when she was a military spouse and carry on today. She joined the Army in 2007, but she continued volunteering.
Just as she volunteered to serve in the Army as a Soldier, she was also the mother who often raised her hand to help with her daughter’s school activities.
She was the team mom for multiple sports and a member of the booster club and prom committees for her daughter’s middle and high schools. She was a junior Reserve Officer Training Corps volunteer for four years while her daughter Mikaila participated in the program.
This sergeant first class volunteered for many activities in the Army community too. She enjoys cooking and has shared prepared meals with Soldiers in the barracks and cooked for countless Army and community events.
A creative Newland planned parties and was a set designer for a haunted house while deployed in Afghanistan and while serving in Germany. She assisted with the setup and tear down of several marathons as well.
As the 1st TSC’s SARC, she volunteered at a domestic violence women’s shelter and homeless shelters, taught religious studies and volunteered on faith-based missions. She also currently serves as a SFRG command ready representative with the 1st TSC’s Soldier and Family Readiness Group.
With her position as the SARC, volunteering at a shelter to help survivors of domestic violence is dear to her. She said it is rewarding to volunteer for a worthy cause and do it for someone who isn’t as fortunate as herself.
“These are people who have experienced a crisis in their life, so we are helping them and showing them that they are not alone,” she said.
Overall, her favorite volunteer experience involved being a mentor to a six-year-old girl as a buddy with the program Camp We Can, while stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 2007.
“For two weeks, I did whatever she wanted,” Newland said. “She wanted to go horseback riding, and I had never done it before, but I did it with her.”
Newland volunteers because she wants to give back to her community, including Soldiers and family members, and even other volunteers who have impacted her life.
She wishes to pay forward the feeling she had when returning home from her two deployments.
“I remember coming back from each [deployment], and it was so nice when they opened the doors of the bus, and we saw all of the things that they had prepared for us,” she said.
“None of that would be possible without all of the volunteers,” she said.
She remembers the volunteers from the SFRG, the United Service Organization, and Morale Welfare and Recreation who made it all happen.
Newland encourages others to volunteer and says that we all have a couple of hours to give to help others.
“Go see Theresa Scott with our First Team SFRG,” she said. “There are so many different volunteer opportunities available, and she has all the information to share. Even if it’s to plant a flower and watch it grow.”
Newland said that we are blessed and live in a blessed country. “Knowing that, anyone can give of their time,” she said.