By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Volunteers being recognized at a Fort McCoy Volunteer
Recognition Banquet presented Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser
with a symbolic $92,750 check for services provided during 2007.
Pictured with the symbolic
volunteer savings check is ACS Director Becky Wapp Sawyer, AVCC
David Blakeman, Garrison Commander Col. David
E. Chesser and 18 of the 23 volunteers honored at the
2008 Commander's Volunteer Recognition Banquet. (Photo
by Julie Gran)
The amount represented the approximate amount volunteers saved
Fort McCoy is 2007. Forty-one
volunteers were recognized for donating 4,808 hours of service, said
David Blakeman, Fort McCoy Army Community Service Army Volunteer
Program manager. The dollar value of volunteer work was based on an
estimated $19.29 an hour wage at the national level in 2007.
"Volunteerism stabilizes our Army communities by
contributing to community cohesion, increasing self-reliance and
enhancing the well-being of our Soldiers and their families,"
Blakeman said. "The AVC (Army Volunteer Corps) provides a
centralized umbrella of support for all Army community
Volunteering in the Fort McCoy community takes many shapes and
forms, both on and off post, he said. On post, organizations including
the Religious Support Office, the Directorate of Human
Resources/Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation
(DHR/DFMWR), the Directorate of Emergency Services/Directorate of
Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (wildlife conservation),
and Family Readiness Programming use volunteer contributions to enrich
their programs. Guidance for which organizations have the authority to
accept volunteer services, primarily those services and programs that
provide services to Soldiers and their family members, can be found in
10 U.S. Code 1588 (a)(1-8).
Fort McCoy personnel also have provided off-post volunteer
support to the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Operation Home
Front, WAFER (food pantry), For Goodness Sake (a needs listing
service), the Wisconsin National Guard Family Readiness program and
"As the Army transforms itself, it must transform its
volunteer programs to meet emerging needs, provide a professional
approach to volunteer management and find new ways to engage
volunteers that accommodate their ever-changing family and work
demands," Blakeman said. "This new reality drives the need
to transform volunteerism within our communities."
"The AVC continues the proud tradition of volunteer
service in the history of our Army and extends it into the future,
transmitting Army values and pride in our nation, (from) one
generation to the next," he said.
Guest speaker Charles "Chip" Lutz presented tips to
the volunteers and other attendees who are leading busy lives about
how to manage the stresses they face in today's world by injecting
humor into their daily lives, Blakeman said. Lutz, a retired Naval
officer, is the founder of Fun Squad Inc., which works with
individuals and organizations helping to break down barriers and to
create a more positive, change resilient culture.
Chesser presented 22 volunteers in the Fort McCoy community
with Commander's Certificates of Appreciation.
Twelve of the volunteers were honored with Presidential
Volunteer Service Awards, and were:
Gold (500-plus hours) -- Robert Tatinger,
Pine View Recreation Area.
Silver (300-499 hours) -- LeAnn Clark,
ACS, and Mary Hirsch-Justice, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)
Bronze (100-299 hours) -- Candy Weiss,
ACS, and Michael Roeske, Norb Brown, David Hirsch, Amy Roeske,
Eric Funkhouser, Wade Riniker, George Hirsch and Aaron Craig, all
MWR Ski Patrol.
In addition to the Presidential Awards, the following
individuals received a Commander's Certificate of Appreciation: Craig
Bartholomew, Laurie Bartholomew, Heidi Bauer, Marie Blakeman, Susan
Casteel, Ann Currie, Courtney Daniels, Shawn Eckelburg, Ken Enghusen,
Alex Frazee, Julie Gran, Cynthia Grant, Luke Haverstick, Donald Herr,
Karen Kast, Julie Kelly, Jodel Lamberson, Tom Luey, Pat Luey, Treyton
Luey, Jerry Nelson, Laura Rakow, Cynthia Remley, Brandon Retzlaff,
Cindy Storkel, Cassandra Taylor-Roby, Larry Thompson, Pamela Valeska,
and Gail Zuege.
David Blakeman said there are currently 36 volunteer positions
at Fort McCoy waiting to be filled.
For more information about the program or to volunteer, call
Blakeman at (608) 388-6507 or visit the Web site http://www.myarmylifetoo.com.