FORT SILL, Oklahoma -- The Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill Volunteer Recognition and Volunteer of the Year Ceremony was held April 20, 2023, at the amphitheater behind the Patriot Club.
More than 50 volunteers were recognized for donating their time and talents to organizations and agencies on and off post. The ceremony recognized volunteers from seven different volunteer agencies on post and several individual volunteers.
Volunteers recognized from the Fort Sill Patriot Spouses Group included: Lisa Crooks; Paula Sartain; Lauren Taylor; Candice Cartwright; Olivia Davies; Erin Walsh; Allison Polk; Carla Norris; Carrie Rodriguez; Andi Janoe; Jenn Smith; Emmanuelle Charras; Lindee Luper; Kelly Lee; Jaima McCabe; Tabby Jenkins; Shania Boomgaam; Krystal Harris; Karen Diaz; and Kayla Richert.
The Patriot Spouses Club volunteers were recognized for signing up 132 new members generating 72 volunteer hours and featured 37 Fort Sill program services; showcasing 16 historical homes on post, generating 250 hours while raising more than $2,500 for the club’s scholarship funds; and providing monthly social events and five philanthropy collections, which accumulated more than 150 hours.
Volunteers from the Protestant Women of the Church included: Jayme Kutter; Lisa Lo; Jaima McCabe; Catherine Ray; Rev. Ahren Reiter; Carol Stayer; and Autumn Vernon.
From Fort Sill MWR Youth Sports Group, volunteers included: Jocelyn Compton; Brandon Williams; Joshua Whiddon; Jacque Dickerson; Christopher Dickerson; Ceantel Young; Chanice Gulley; Gloria Silva; Joshua Gomez; and Emily Pingar.
From the Fort Sill American Red Cross Group, volunteers included: Sam Austad; Petra Yahn; Bill Mullikin; Dollie Ducre; and Jeanette Walker.
Individual volunteers included: 1st Lt. Tyree Avery, who volunteered more than 240 hours within the past year as the Sante Fe middle and high school wrestling coach and assistant. He also assists in college recruitment for senior students.
Cpl. Alberto Pena volunteered more than 280 hours to the USO. He greeted visitors while working behind the desk, assisting with weekend brunches and with the occasional Dungeons & Dragons game days.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joe Le volunteered more than 300 hours to First Baptist West Church, where he assisted as an usher and, along with his wife Pamela, taught Vacation Bible School and currently teaches Sunday School for the kindergarten department.
Staff Sgt. Kyle Murphy is the volunteer coordinator for 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery. He tracked more than 500 personnel when organizations need and receive assistance.
Suzy Hammonds has volunteered more than 338.5 hours for the ACS Financial Readiness Program, where she helps to counsel Soldiers and their families on financial problems and gives briefings on budgeting, retirement plans and Thrift Savings Plan.
Second Lt. Shane Mehr volunteered with Hungry Hearts to provide more than 500 meals in the Lawton community. As the battery treasurer, his efforts resulted in more than $1,000 raised for the Soldier and Family Readiness Group.
The last individual volunteer is Rebecca Nowaskey, who volunteered her time with the 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery SFRG program. In 2022, her efforts raised more than $7,500 for the battery by participating in multiply fundraisers for the unit’s Family Day and graduations.
“Let me lay out why it’s important to celebrate and recognize volunteerism on Fort Sill,” said Col. Ryan Schrock, commander, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade and guest speaker for the event. “A single simple act of kindness can change a person’s day or their lives. Volunteering provides services and support that otherwise – without the efforts of these selfless individuals – would go unfulfilled. This is the richness they provide our communities.”
Volunteer of the Year
Staff Sgt. Jeremy Adams was named the 2023 Service Member Volunteer of the Year.
The winner of the 2023 Department of the Army Civilian Volunteer of the Year is Paulette Anderson.
The winner of the 2023 Civilian Family Member Volunteer of the Year is Lydia Clendenin.