Volunteer recognition ceremony showcases heroes
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- It appeared to be a meeting of superheroes at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, where hundreds gathered awaiting their next mission assignment. In reality these everyday 'Avengers' were being honored for their courageous services to the Yongsan community.
U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan's Army Community Service hosted the 2013 Volunteer of the Year ceremony at the R & R Bar & Grill, April 16. During the opening speech given by Col. Michael E. Masley, garrison commander at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, he commented about an accident which occurred earlier today, and how he witnessed the volunteer spirit in action following the tragic event.
"Tonight, we take this opportunity to recognize our Area II volunteers," Masley said. "They have gone above and beyond what is expected of them, to reach out and care about other people."
Guest of honor, Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of UNC/CFC/USFK, showed his appreciation by congratulating all the awardees and thanked all volunteers for a job well done.
"You bring courage, confidence and commitment to people who are serving far away from home," Thurman said. "Volunteers make a difference in the lives of people every day."
Distinguished guests included Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, commanding general of Eighth Army, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney D. Harris, command Sergeant Major of Eighth Army.
"There are many volunteers who dedicate their time and effort to help others and it is important to recognize them and demonstrate our appreciation for their hard work," said Kimberly Moore, Yongsan Army volunteer corps coordinator and event MC.
Volunteers contributed nearly $3 million worth of services to the Yongsan Community in 2012. According to Moore, that amount represents 133,268 hours in Area II during the past year.
"In the era of declining budgets that really means something," Thurman said. "I'm very thankful for what you do every day to make a difference in the lives of our service members."
Moore hopes others are willing to offer their time and talents to serve this multi-cultural community.
"I'm thankful to have been a part of this event and we look forward to recognizing more outstanding volunteers each year," she said.
A list of all the 2013 award winners follows:
2012 Volunteer of the Year
Winner -- Marie Twiss
First Runner Up --Wayne Clark
Category: 18 & Under
Winner -- David Neaverth
First Runner Up -- Alexander, Blake` & Chase McDonald
Category: Korean National
Winner -- Stone Lee
First Runner Up -- Hyun Sook Chung
Winner -- Hyun Byun
First Runner Up -- Debbie Manev
Winner --Wayne Clark
First Runner Up -- Joseph Terry
Category: Active Duty
Winner -- Sgt. 1st Class Sherette Mills
First Runner Up -- Sgt. Rachel Pellicer
Category: Family Member
Winner -- Marie Twiss
First Runner Up -- Magielyn Roger & Tamara Weiss