By Michelle Butzgy/ParaglideJuly 22, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Soldiers and Family members of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade were recognized in a two-fold ceremony Friday at the brigade's parade field. The units of the 525th BfSB cased their colors in traditional Army fashion after members of the Family readiness group were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the brigade's Soldiers and Families.
"No unit can deploy and sustain itself effectively without a viable Family readiness group. I won't be seeing most of these people for the next year. I thought it was very important to publicly recognize their service. An immense importance should be placed on their truly volunteer contributions ahead of our deployment," said Col. James D. Edwards, 525th BfSB commander.
Sixteen Family members were awarded the Commander's Award for public service, a brigade coin and a blue service star flag. Charmaine Nunally, wife of Capt. Joshua Nunally, Company C, 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, also received the Golden Rose Award for her accomplishments.
Established in 2004 by the Military Intelligence Corps Association, the Golden Rose Award is intended to recognize a spouse whose volunteer service contributes substantially to the mission ccomplishment of a military intelligence unit, activity, command or staff agency.
Nunally accumulated more than 400 hours of volunteer service by planning "baby showers to bagging up groceries at the commissary to parties for Soldiers to picnics, you name it, we did it," she said. "We're kind of small compared to some of the other units on post but the support we have had has been awesome."
Scherri Garner, wife of 1st Sgt. Derrick Garner, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, feels like a big sister to her fellow FRG members. "We're proud to be able to help them. We have a lot of young wives whose husbands are going on their first deployment," she said.
After thanking the Soldiers standing in formation on the parade field, Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general, turned to the FRG members to praise them for their work.
"We can't do the things our nation asks us to do as an Army without great support of our spouses and our Families back here when we're deployed. They're volunteers. They don't get paid to do this stuff. These volunteers that we recognized today have been nominated, not by the chain of command, but their individual units inside those organizations ... that makes this so very, very special."
"There are hundreds of volunteers out there and every one of them is important," said Edwards. "To all of our volunteers, thanks for all you do. Your time, energy, compassion and love you provide our Soldiers are simply irreplaceable."
Elements of the 525th BfSB will deploy to Afghanistan in two weeks. The FRG awardees are:
1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment
519th Military Intelligence Battalion
319th Military Intelligence Battalion
Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade