JBLM honors volunteers in appreciation ceremony 
The 2022 Volunteer Winners pose for a photo with Joint Base Lewis-McChord leadership at the Family Readiness Center May 17. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Christina Westover, I Corps Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 36th Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony brought out some old and new faces. Volunteers with over 20 years of service to those with under one year of service, came together to celebrate with each other.

“Volunteers help to build a healthy community through their service,” said Lori Parker, installation volunteer corps program manager with the Directorate of Personnel and Family Readiness. “The impact from a volunteer can be long lasting and truly inspiring.”

In total, volunteers worked more than 50,000 hours during the pandemic. These efforts saved JBLM almost $1.5 million in budget costs.

Nominations for volunteer awards could come from anyone on base, but there are a few must-haves.

Nominators are asked to provide details on all aspects of volunteer’s involvement in the unit, organizations and community. Additionally, the nomination must outline the volunteer’s accomplishments and how they have impacted their volunteer organizations and the community.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our community, and we certainly hope to increase the importance of this effort next year,” said Col. Phil Lamb, Joint Base Lewis-McChord commander.

This year’s volunteer awards are for volunteer accomplishments from January to December 2021.

This year’s volunteer winners are:

Community Volunteer of the Year – Ashley Waltrip

Retiree Volunteer of the Year – Donald Alexander

Family of the Year – Jones Family

Active-Duty Volunteer of the Year – Sgt. Jazmin Martinez-Vazquez

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Melissa Collins

This year’s volunteers of merit are:

Frances Berlin

Chelse Brown

Gina LeMasters

Vanessa Perez

Veronica Smith

Ashley Werner

2nd Lt. Kayla McCarthy

Anita Vargo

The Jones family won the family of the year award with more than 120 hours of community service. They assisted in delivering Christmas meals, toys and coats for over 300 JBLM families.

“To see the joy in a person’s face and the friendships we make are the most rewarding parts of giving back,” said William Jones, president of Grace Gospel Church male chorus located on JBLM.

William and wife, Yvonne Terry-Jones, have been active members of Grace Gospel church for over 40 years.

“Being a spiritual part of the community means giving back what God gave you,” said Yvonne Jones, who is also the president of the usher board at Grace Gospel.

From organizing programs for over 50 single service members, Sgt. Jazmin Martinez-Vazquez, with 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and active-duty volunteer of the year, contributes it to her passion for selfless service.

“I’ve been the one in need,” she said. “I know how it feels to be in that position. Work might be hard, but in the spare time you have make sure you give it to someone who counts.”