Fort Jackson honored the ministry volunteers who have affected the lives of “10s of thousands of trainees” at a luncheon Oct. 14.
Chaplain (Col.) Joey Byrd, Fort Jackson command chaplain, said the luncheon recognized more than 140 volunteers who assisted the religious efforts across post.
“You have made a big difference and we are very grateful for your contributions,” said Sgt. 1st Class Betty Brime, the Religious Support Office Noncommissioned Officer in Charge during the event. “On behalf of the Religious Support Office and Team Jackson we would like to recognize the 2022 volunteers with a personalized thank you for your service to our community.”
“I salute you for your hard work and selfless service,” said Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Army Training Center and Fort Jackson commander. “You serve this installation without complaint and have no expectation of reward. You are passionate about your endeavor to bring joy, health and safety to the Soldiers you call family.
“We faced many unforeseen challenges over the past year, but it was our dedicated ministries and volunteers who ensured our community remained spiritually resilient.”
Ministry volunteers affect trainees, Soldiers and civilians in a myriad of ways.
“When we come to volunteer, we really come to bless others,” Byrd said during the luncheon. “… When you give to others you find purpose, meaning and joy.”
The religious service community “must lead the way wherever we are in communication and establishing goodness,” he added, likening the volunteers to first responders.
“We must be the people that speak goodness, that provide hope, forgiveness, peace, harmony, joy and sanity wherever you go,” he said.
“People need an encouraging word, and we must be the person to provide it. People need to know that everything is going to be ok.”
We must be the people who make the world a better place, he added.
It “is really an expression of who we are in our faith,” he said, reflecting on the merits of volunteering. “This is why I believe it is so important.”
The world needs more volunteers, Kelly said. “… People who incorporate volunteering and selflessness into their identity … That is what creates community through your actions.”
Byrd gave each recognized volunteer with a certificate of appreciation at the event.