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Red Cross volunteers recognized at annual ceremony

Email   Print   Share By Erin Rogers, Sentinel Staff
May 23, 2013 | News
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Mary Basiliere, Fort Hood Red Cross senior station manager, speaks to Fort Hood’s Red Cross volunteers at the 2013 Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Ceremony at the Phantom Warrior Center Monday. Erin Rogers, Sentinel Staff
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Edith Sawyer, a long-time Red Cross volunteer at stations around the world, is recognized for her more than 30 years of service to the organization during the Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Ceremony Monday. Erin Rogers, Sentinel Staff
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Hollyanne Milley and Garrison Commander Col. Matt Elledge present Col. Ivan Speights, acting CRDAMC commander, with the Good Neighbor Award at the 2013 Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Ceremony Monday. Erin Rogers, Sentinel Staff
The American Red Cross of Fort Hood celebrated its annual volunteer recognition ceremony on the Red Cross’s 132nd birthday at the Phantom Warrior Center Monday.

Last year, Fort Hood’s Red Cross volunteered a total of 28,471 hours of service to the community, surpassing that amount of volunteer hour this year with 31,483 hours of service to the military community in just 10 months.

Mary Basiliere, Fort Hood Red Cross senior station manager, reminded the volunteers of just a few things the Red Cross does all the time for the community.

“What have you been doing this year?” Basiliere asked the audience. “Could it be streamlining volunteer in-processing … hosting events for the WTB (Warrior Transition Brigade) Soldiers and Families or actively participating in base-wide disaster exercises and assist in West, Texas, or Super Storm Sandy?

“Maybe it was the 7,478 rides in Care Mobile and support at the manifest operations, or the countless hours of helping our medical staff provide patient care and comfort,” Basiliere reminded them.

One volunteer, retired Col. Paul Sawyer, is active in the Red Cross with his wife, Edith. Between the two of them, Edith and Paul have more than 50 years of volunteer time to the Red Cross efforts at different installations around the world, but have been dedicating their time to Fort Hood’s Red Cross since 1999.

Paul, who didn’t have the opportunity to volunteer with the Red Cross until after he retired from his 42 years of federal service, said he loves working with the Red Cross so he can stay in touch with today’s Army.

“We have to give back to our military community, and since I’m not active duty anymore, I have a new way of thanking our active-duty Soldiers today, which is volunteering with the Red Cross,” Paul said, “and it keeps me young. Interacting with today’s Soldiers keeps me young and involved in the military.”

“The best thing you can possibly do is volunteer,” Edith added.

Garrison Commander Col. Matt Elledge, a long-time avid supporter of the Red Cross, was the guest speaker for the recognition ceremony and thanked them for everything they do for the Soldiers and Families inside and outside of Fort Hood.

“You all turn compassion into action,” Elledge said. “You, the volunteers, are the game-changer in times of despair. You are the hope that picks people up, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

After Elledge’s speech, Basiliere asked each of the volunteers in attendance to stand and be recognized in their individual categories of service before going to get their individual certificates and gifts at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The categories were for less than one year of service, one, two, three, four six, seven, 10, 13, 32, 34 and 37 years of service. Basiliere, on behalf of the Fort Hood Red Cross, also awarded people and organizations within the Fort Hood community for different contributions they’ve made.

The Good Neighbor Award went to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The There When You Need Them Award went to Red Cross volunteers Karl Williams, Tina Duncan and Dennys Obregon. The Service to the Armed Forces Award went to Red Cross volunteers Sandy and George Childs.

“Without volunteers, we would not be able to do the service that we do,” Basiliere said about the volunteer-lead organization before stating a quote by a former Army captain, “It isn’t the reward that matters or the recognition you might harvest. It is your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion – these are the things that count in life.

“When you give purely,” she continued, “the honor comes in giving – and that is honor enough.”
 
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