By Karen Doherty, Presidio of Monterey Army Community ServiceAugust 2, 2012
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Presidio organizations and community members were recognized for their volunteer service worth more than three-quarters of a million dollars during a ceremony on Ord Military Community June 21. Col. Joel J. Clark, garrison commander, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Olga Martinez, garrison command sergeant major, presented awards to recipients, while Karen Doherty served as narrator for the event.
GROUP OR ORGANIZATION
The Armed Forces Team Building (AFTB) program was awarded as the outstanding group. Representatives accepted the award for the group or organization category.
Other nominees in the group or organization category were Better Opportunities for Single Service Members (BOSS), Monterey Bay Military Housing/Clark Pinnacle, and the Fort Ord Area Military Retiree Council.
The AFTB program is a volunteer-run program that was designed for military spouses, by military spouses. The volunteers teach classes to military spouses on a monthly basis. Teaching military families about military life, culture, resources and the expectations of the military makes stronger military families. If the spouse and the family are given tools to help themselves, this takes stress off the service member, so the service member can concentrate on their mission. Strong families make a strong military and contribute to retention, which goes with the motto "We recruit Soldiers and retain families."
ACTIVE-DUTY SERVICE MEMBER
Pfc. Govind K. Gambhir of Company A, 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, was recognized as the outstanding active-duty service member. Other nominees in the category of active-duty service member were Seaman Sandra Batchelor, Sgt. Mark Grill, Spc. Gabriel Kira, Spc. Jin B. Kim, Seaman Melissa Klotz, Capt. Brandy Malone, Command Sgt. Maj. Olga Martinez, Sgt. Matthew Mitchell and Lance Cpl. Shane Wilkinson.
Gambhir contributed over 240 hours of personal time to the military and civilian communities in and around the Presidio of Monterey through involvement in multiple volunteer activities, including serving as building noncommissioned officer, volunteering as an on-call designated driver and assisting with the preparation for the Army Ball..
Sonia Wile, with ties to the Air Force element at the Naval Postgraduate School, was recognized with the outstanding military spouse award.
Other nominees in the category were Shawn Anderson, Esther Dale, Desiree Giusto, Jennifer Greef, Elisa Grimes, Thuy Vy Jirak, Travis Lamoureaux, Jessica Olson, Jennifer Pemberton, Linsey Sodom and Maite Suppes.
Sonia Wile is the front desk volunteer afternoon greeter at Army Community Service. She volunteers at ACS so she can have a positive impact on the Monterey Military Community.
The Corbett family, with ties to the Air Force, was recognized with the outstanding military family award.
The Corbett family has contributed immensely to the Ord Military Chapel Program's Catholic community for nearly four years.
The whole Corbett family has been involved volunteering and assisting with major chapel programs such as Advent and Lent, the egg hunt for Easter filling hundreds of eggs, Vacation Bible School, and crafts and activities for Light in the Night, which is attended by over 700 people each year. All family members have assisted with set up and clean up at each event and after fellowship during the week and on Sundays. This epitomizes the family's attitude towards all the areas of their service to Ord Military Community.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EMPLOYEE
Gay Rearick was recognized as the outstanding Department of Defense employee volunteer.
Other nominees for the Department of Defense Employee were Terrence Hiett and Clifford Thornburg.
Rearick's contributions span across all the services and at both the Presidio of Monterey and the Naval Postgraduate School. Some noteworthy military organizations she volunteers with include Mayoral Program yard sales; block parties; and team-building meetings; ACS programs, such as Make a Difference Day and Celebrating Military Children; Child and Youth Services; Pinnacle events; BLM clean up days; and FMWR events, including as judge for the Rising Star two years in a row.
Clifford Thornburg was recognized as the outstanding volunteer retiree.
Terrence Hiett was also nominated in the retiree category.
Thornburg is an active member in the Monterey Military Community. He has volunteered every Wednesday at the OMC Chapel to teach Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. These classes promote financial readiness and lifelong budgeting skills within the military community.
Each "University" is a 13-week commitment, and Thornburg has made four of these commitments over the past year, totaling 200 hours of volunteer time. Thornburg has taught 32 students skills that will bring them financial freedom so they can "live like no one else."
Thornburg also volunteers for the Fort Ord Area Military Retiree Council. Thornburg has a genuine affection for the military community and strives to help families be successful.
TEEN AND YOUTH
The teen and youth category outstanding volunteer recognition went to Krysta Walsh.
Walsh has volunteered at the 445th Civil Affairs office in Marina over the last. She completes administrative tasks and physical tasks in support of the troops.
Tiffany Kellogg received recognition as the outstanding civilian volunteer.
Kellogg has contributed greatly assisting in coordinating with community schools and providing information and marketing for the Exceptional Family Member Program support group. She has spent countless hours assisting in researching community activities that the EFMP program can participate in for free or limited cost for the families.