By Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs OfficeApril 21, 2010
PALM CIRCLE, Fort Shafter -- (Apr. 14, 2010) -- Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali once said, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth".
The commanding general of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command acknowledged four outstanding volunteers for giving of their time and talents during a ceremony on the back lanai of his quarters, Apr. 14, recognizing one as the 8th TSC Volunteer of the Year.
"It's special to welcome you all into our home, to celebrate the good things that our volunteers do, day in and day out, out of the goodness of their heart," said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general, 8th TSC.
Terry, and his wife, Cathy, spoke about some of the accomplishments from each volunteer of the quarter. Katherine Ebersole, 130th Engineer Brigade, worked tirelessly as the Family Readiness Group leader, holding several fundraising events and tripling the FRG budget. Andrea Logan, 130th Eng. Bde., volunteered more than 100 hours and kept meticulous records as the FRG treasurer. Christine Cox, 130th Eng. Bde., helped set up video teleconferences between families and their deployed Soldiers. Melinda Yeary, 8th Special Troops Battalion, took the lead in planning the unit's organizational day and holiday parties, and ran the children's activities for both events.
Due to her exceptional volunteerism, Terry named Melinda Yeary the 8th TSC Volunteer of the Year.
"I was surprised," she said. "It is a huge honor for me to receive this award. I volunteer so the Soldiers can focus on their missions and not worry about their families."
The 8th TSC held the Volunteer of the Year ceremony halfway through the fiscal year in order to allow Yeary to compete for the honor at the Garrison level and beyond. Melinda's husband, Staff Sgt. Gregory Yeary, said he wasn't surprised that his wife was recognized for her hard work. Melinda was also named Fort Lewis, Wash., Volunteer of the Year in 2005.
"(Melinda's) got a proven track record of volunteerism," he said. "She was a Soldier for ten years, and then left the Army, and now she loves taking care of Soldiers and their families."
Melinda says her experience as a Soldier gives her a different perspective from most spouses.
"It gives me both sides of the story," she said. "I know what the Soldiers have to go through, and I know what it's like to be the spouse of a Soldier, so I can relate to both sides."
Melinda says her favorite volunteer activity is working with the children in Hale Kula Elementary School on Schofield Barracks, and will continue working with kids when they move to Fort Sill, Okla., in June.
"When I volunteer in the classroom, it means the kids are getting a quality education because of an extra set of hands in the classroom," Melinda said. "My degree in early childhood education will be complete soon, so I hope to keep working in the classroom at Fort Sill and volunteering my time where I can."