By Billie Garner (Fort Carson)April 19, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- For the first time since the program's inception in 1978, Fort Carson hailed two members from the neighboring civilian community as its Good Neighbors, during an induction ceremony dinner April 11.
Marvin Stein and the late Cindy Fowler join the ranks of Fort Carson Good Neighbors during the annual dinner attended by local community members and Fort Carson leadership at the Elkhorn Conference Center.
Stein, a Pueblo businessman with a history of giving to Soldiers and their Families was named 2011 Fort Carson Good Neighbor.
"Marvin is a well respected leader in both our military and civilian communities and is an instant friend to everyone he meets. He has supported our nation with his support of Fort Carson through the (Directorate of) Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and participates in numerous ceremonies, asking nothing in return," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
"Marv continues to be an advocate for the military with business and political leaders in the surrounding communities of Fort Carson, most significantly in Pueblo. He continuously helps organize and participates in events in our community that focus on supporting all Front Range installations," he said.
Anderson said the Colorado Springs area has set the standard for other communities to follow when it comes to integrating military installations into a local community.
"The support that we receive from the surrounding communities is nothing short of astounding and second to none," Anderson said.
"Above all else, Marv truly conveys his sincere appreciation and gratitude to our Soldiers and their Families on a regular basis. He is very aware of the sacrifices Soldiers make to support our nation and, even though it has been a very long time since he wore a uniform, he is always there to support us with a big smile on his face," Anderson said.
Over the past several years, Stein teamed up with many organizations to provide goods and services to military men, women and their Families.
He supported the Wounded Warrior Golf Tournament, providing handicap-accessible golf carts for every wounded warrior involved in the tournament. He contributes to the USO's campaign for wounded Soldiers and is a financial supporter of the El Pomar Foundation's program for Families of wounded warriors. He also assisted in obtaining a $25,000 wheelchair for a Soldier who was injured in a field training exercise.
For the past two years, Stein donated a "Day of Football" for wounded warriors at Colorado State University in Pueblo that included lunch, tickets to the game and refreshments.
He pursued solutions to the installation's shortage of buildings and administrative office space, petitioning local, state and national officials in the executive and legislative branches of government.
"I have been asked numerous times why I willingly drive the 40-plus minutes to Colorado Springs so many times," Stein said. "There are only two reasons. First, nobody has ever shot at me during any trip. Second, I have not encountered either an (improvised explosive device) or land mine."
Over the past decade, the Colorado Springs military Family, with few exceptions, cannot stake the same claim, he said.
"They have been putting it all on the line for my family, our nation and their own Family. The irony with my receipt of this award is that the deserving party is thanking me," Stein said. "I can simply say that I am overwhelmed by this action and am humbled to be included with the prior 33 recipients.
"The least I can do is try to make their lives better as a way of expressing my gratitude," said Stein.
Fowler posthumously becomes a member of the Fort Carson Good Neighbors. Anderson presented the award to her husband, Chuck Fowler and their daughter, Emily Fowler.
Cindy Fowler supported many causes and was a participant, board member and director of organizations that raised funds and provided for those in need.
"Cindy spent her life helping others, even through her battle with cancer," said Chuck Fowler.
To promote breast cancer awareness, Cindy Fowler founded "Cowgirls and Cocktails" as part of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation. The foundation raises funds for patients while they fight cancer and undergo treatment.
"Cindy helped raise thousands that were donated to Evans Army Community Hospital for the purchase of equipment to ease the recovery process for women undergoing life-altering surgery. She devoted endless time and effort to the Families and Soldiers of Fort Carson. Cindy was dedicated to improving the life of all Soldiers and their Families. She was a truly outstanding individual whose legacy and generosity will be felt for years to come," said Anderson.
"Cindy is the epitome of a good neighbor. Cindy was a friend of mine, introducing me to the civilian community when I was new to my position," said Dee McNutt, Fort Carson Garrison Public Affairs Officer.
With tears in the eyes of many of the guests, Anderson asked those in attendance to join him in a moment of silence on behalf of Cindy Fowler.
Good Neighbors receive a plaque etched with the title and year awarded, a sport coat with his name embroidered on the patch, a certificate and photo on permanent display with all of the Good Neighbors at the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters building. Good Neighbors are invited to events and ceremonies held on Fort Carson.
Good Neighbors attending the dinner included Don Addy, John Bernheim, Marvin Boyd, Charles Brown, Jay Cimino, Tsai Freidberg, Harry Hoth, Ryer Hitchcock, Harold Littrell, Edward Lohman, Lou Mellini, Harlan Ochs, Jim Palmer and Bill Tutt.