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06-12-2008, 17:06

1st SFG (A) volunteers honored at annual recognition ceremony

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (5 JUNE 2008) – The 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) honored its family readiness groups and volunteers during their annual Volunteer Appreciation Night on June 5 here.

More than thirty volunteers were recognized for their selfless service to the 1st SFG(A), their families and the community.

Col. Eric P. Wendt, the 1st SFG(A) commander, extended his thanks to all volunteers and highlighted the difficulties and pressures service members' families face before, during and after deployments.

"The women whom we honor tonight are strong women, who take care of everything when their spouses are deployed and do so with a smile. The ladies who make up our Special Forces Families really are a cut above," said Wendt during his opening remarks.

After the official remarks, the senior Family Readiness Group representatives from each unit assembled on stage in order to officially cut the "volunteer cake." As the volunteers enjoyed their cake, a special video inspired by the volunteers was shown.

Wendt then presented the volunteers two certificates of appreciation. The first one was from Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., the 1st Corps Commander, for outstanding volunteer service benefiting Fort Lewis Soldiers and Families. The second certificate was from Col. Wendt and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Sherlock, commander and command sergeant major 1st SFG(A), for service as a volunteer to the 1st SFG (A) Family Readiness Program.

Hilary Coons, an FRG leader from 3d Battalion, 1st SFG(A), stated the importance of the FRG during deployments, "there are many great leaders here in the FRG and we will get through this (deployments) because of them."

Select volunteers were awarded Department of the Army Awards. Eight women were presented the Commander's Award for Public Service, an Army Commendation medal equivalent, for their significant contributions to 1st SFG(A). Five women received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, a Meritorious Service Medal equivalent, for their significant contributions to the United States Army Special Forces Command (Airborne).

Wendt also took the time to recognize the accomplishments of a few volunteers who won Volunteer of the Year Awards from different organizations last month. Krista Willson, Sandy White, Mia Johnson, Pamela Kachinski and Wendy Liller received the Volunteer of the Year from United States Army Special Operation Command (Airborne). Sandy White was also awarded the Fort Lewis Volunteer of the Year Award and Mia Johnson was awarded the Fort Lewis Volunteer of Merit Award.

Two special volunteers were presented the Commander's Award for Public Service for their tireless efforts. Mr. Seamus Neary and Ms. Suzanne Wolf, know as the "Piping Duo," provided their services as bagpipers for numerous 1st SFG(A) events including memorial ceremonies and banquets. The couple received a standing ovation for their dedication and support.

At the end of the ceremony the Group Steering Committee was recognized for their great efforts in planning events and ensuring the Families were taken care of. Wendt closed the ceremony by saying "it's always enjoyable to recognize people...You are the best FRG I’ve seen since arriving at the 1st SFG (A) nearly 20 years ago. I want to thank you both as a commander and a long time Soldier in this Group for your selfless service."

LovieAnn Terrado 1st SFG(A) Family Readiness Coordinator organized the event as a way to celebrate the people at the core of 1st SFG(A)'s readiness program…the volunteers.

--sine pari--

06-12-2008, 17:07
Col. Wendt (center), Chief Warrant Officer Moore (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Sherlock (right) stand for a photo with the ladies of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) during 1st SFG(A)'s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Night. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Thomas/1st SFG(A))