MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marine Corps Community Services recognized its volunteer force during a ceremony April 18, 2011for the thousands of hours of service they’ve provided to the Combat Center during the 2010 calendar year.
The ceremony began with Katherine Catlin, the MCCS Director, presenting the Combat Center’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, with a mock check in the amount of $2.15 million, representing more than 92,000 hours of volunteer work last year.
Marine Corps Family Team Building director Perry Ford said it’s important to recognize the volunteers for the many hours they have provided to the installation.
“There’s no way you can’t recognize the faithfulness of the people that come out and give their services,” Ford said.
With hundreds of volunteers to recognize, representatives from units and organizations accepted the awards on behalf of their volunteers, presenting the individual awards at smaller, more intimate ceremonies later.
Allie Nelson, Family Readiness Officer, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, credits her unit’s volunteers with providing the additional time needed to get things done.
“Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish so much for our families,” Nelson said.
Putting welcome aboard packages together and reaching out to other family members are just a couple of things her unit’s volunteers do.
“The volunteers are the foundation of the Family Readiness Program,” said Gisela Lemon, the FRO for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3. “They take real ownership of it, creating a ‘big-sister’ type network.”
The VMU-3 volunteers began an initiative called “Meals for Moms,” where several spouses plan and create meals that can be frozen and easily cooked for new moms who deliver their babies while their Marine husbands are deployed.
The program not only provides the new mom with a ready-made meal, but also allows the volunteers opportunities to check-in with each other.
Spouses are not the only volunteers aboard the installation. There are several Marines who volunteer with the Single Marine Program and the Young Marine Program. They were also recognized.
Anyone interested in volunteering with any department aboard the Combat Center should contact Mike Dearstine, Family Readiness Program Trainer, by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 830-3114.