By Staff Sgt. Cody Harding (IMCOM)April 22, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- There was a movement in the Force behind the Force as hundreds of volunteers gathered together in celebration here, April 20.
A world-changing story in itself, the 2012 Area II Volunteer of the Year award ceremony showed the Yongsan Community the faces of several life-changing individuals. Volunteers, regardless of their rank or position, were welcomed to the R&R Bar and Grill as the Community held the ceremony to thank them for their service.
Col. William Huber, garrison commander for U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, thanked the volunteers who made the evening possible, as well as the volunteers who were nominated.
"This evening we take the opportunity to recognize our volunteers, who have unselfishly given their precious time, brought exceptional skills and shared their gifts with the Community to improve the quality of our life in helping those around us," Huber said.
Yongsan's quiet Army of volunteers number nearly 1,400 strong. These everyday heroes log countless hours behind the scenes, saving the garrison over $2 million dollars.
Gen. James D. Thurman, commanding general of United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea, spoke about the difference that volunteers make for the Servicemembers, Families and Civilians in Yongsan.
"Each and every day, there is something that is going on around this post." Thurman said honoring the volunteers. "It might be a child scout meeting, a family readiness group gathering, a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers function, a red cross volunteer opportunity, or a number of other daily activities that go on around Yongsan. These events would not be successful without the folks that work behind the scenes, our volunteers. The force behind the force."
The event was catered by the R&R Bar and Grill, and featured musical talent from the 8th Army Band and 'Katchi Kapshida,' the 65th Medical Brigade all-Korean band. Also, 2nd Lt. Felicia Gililland and Sgt. 1st Class Jay Eure sang "Lean on Me." All of this was preceded by a red-carpet treatment for the volunteers and visitors.
A list of all the 2012 award winners follows:
2012 Volunteer of the Year
Winner -- Dr. Ned C. Stoll
First Runner Up -- Rebecca Hayes
Category: 18 & Under
Winner -- Vivian Park
First Runner Up -- David J. Conboy
Category: Korean National
Winner -- Jiwon Ye
First Runner Up -- Stone Lee
Winner -- David & Stephanie Ayersman
First Runner Up -- Haing Jah Choi
Winner -- Wayne W. Clark
First Runner Up -- Kelvin Thomas
Category: Active Duty
Winner -- Capt. Severo Palacios
First Runner Up -- Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dewayne Kendricks
Category: Family Member
Winner -- Eugenio Dominguez
First Runner Up -- Anja Grenstad