Annual JBSA Volunteer Awards Ceremony honors those who give back

  • Published
  • By David DeKunder
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The contributions of individuals who have given their time to the betterment of the Joint Base San Antonio community will be recognized when JBSA hosts its annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony April 20.

The ceremony will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center, 3060 Stanley Road, building 2797, and will be live-streamed on the JBSA Facebook page.

Because of COVID-19 protocols, in-person attendance will be limited to award recipients, the persons who nominated them for an award, and the supervisors of the units and organizations they volunteer for.

Forty-one individuals throughout JBSA have been nominated for an award by the supervisor of the unit or organization they volunteer for or by an individual, said George Romero, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC installation volunteer coordinator.

Volunteer of the Year Awards will be presented to individuals in eight categories who contributed their time and service to JBSA units and local community volunteer organizations in 2021, representing all branches of service, and who made a significant positive impact on the lives of others.

The Volunteer Excellence Award will also be presented to a JBSA community member or members in recognition of long-term volunteerism over a number of years.

Romero said the ceremony will follow the theme of Army Volunteer Appreciation Week, which will be observed April 17-23, of “We Salute You: Shining a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve.”

“The meaning behind this week of appreciation is that it affords the opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service both on and off the installation,” Romero said.

Even during the challenging times of the pandemic, Romero said many JBSA members have still put in many hours volunteering their time to a unit or local community volunteer organization.

“I think its important volunteers are being recognized because of the efforts and dedication they are giving to that office,” Romero said. “People have put in hundreds of hours and that is so important. Some people have made it their own little mission to volunteer for that organization and do the best they can to make that organization grow.”

Attending and giving remarks will be 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller; Lt. Gen. John Evans Jr., Army North (Fifth Army) commanding general; and Rear Adm. Cynthia Kuehner, Naval Medical Forces Support Command commander.

During the ceremony, Col. Shane Cuellar, 502nd Force Support Group commander, and Lt. Col Marjorie Barnum, 802nd Force Support Squadron commander, will present an oversized check to illustrate the equivalent value of volunteer hours performed in 2021. Romero said the “Big Check” presentation puts into perspective the contribution volunteers make to the JBSA community.

JBSA members who are interested in volunteering can contact any of the M&FRCs at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 210-221-2705; JBSA-Lackland, 210-671-3722, or JBSA-Randolph, 210-652-5321.