Volunteers show 'mission possible' each day
CAMP HUMPHREYS -- Volunteers who make the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys "Mission Possible" were honored for their efforts at the Volunteer of the Year Recognition Ceremony, in the Community Activity Center, here May 17. A total of 4,027 volunteers contributed more than 82,500 service hours to the garrison during the past year for a monetary value of more than $1.8 million.
During a James Bond/Mission Impossible themed performance by members of the Camp Humphreys Community Theatre, all volunteers, individual recognition plaques went to: Staff Sgt. Aaron Spaulding, assigned to the 557th Military Police Company (Active Duty Soldier); Deana Porretta (Family Member); Pfc. Park Kyu-tae, assigned to Company A, 532nd Military Intelligence Battalion (KATUSA); Kalob Craig (Youth); William "Bill" Baker (Retiree) and the 602nd Aviation Support Battalion (Unit).
Garrison Commander Col. Darin S. Conkright, who presented the plaques, expressed his appreciation for all community volunteers. "You see them every day on our sports fields, at the chapel, in our children's classrooms, in our host community providing English classes, planting trees and picking up litter, at our large community events and many, many other places," he said. "You are great community members that take average services and events and make them exceptional. And, we would absolutely be a much lesser community without your very generous efforts and contributions."
Spaulding, who was unable to attend due to another commitment, received his award for completing about 600 volunteer hours with the United Services Organization, supporting countless programs, services and personal assistance to customers. He volunteered many hours on weekends and holidays to keep the USO open. Porretta was recognized for providing almost 800 hours with organizations such as 4-2 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion's Family Readiness Group, being the United Club's Volunteer Coordinator and Holiday Bazaar co-chair, the Girl Scouts, the Humphreys American School Parent Teacher Student Organization and more.
Park led both American and Korean Soldiers and family members on several compassionate and charitable missions to senior citizen centers and orphanages. Craig was recognized for his participation with the community theatre and representing Camp Humphreys' youth in trying to create more opportunities for young people. He also participated as one of the youth voices during the Army Family Action Plan process and the recent Eighth Army Commanders' Community Assessment Symposium.
Epitomizing the slogan "Still Serving," Baker received recognition for the time he puts in at the USO and other organizations. According to Hal Mullen, the Army Community Service Volunteer-AFAP program manager, the competition among the units was close, but 602nd ASB, commanded by Lt. Col. James A. Duncan, was selected as this year's unit awardee. At the night's conclusion, Donald Claycomb, the Humphreys Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director, presented Conkright with a ceremonial check for $1,827,147.78, representing the total savings volunteers contribute to the community.