Base volunteers recognized by commanders

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Goodfellow volunteers, who tirelessly work to improve our community, were honored as part of National Volunteer Week, which was April 15 - 21. Commanders across Goodfellow recognized their volunteers at Commanders' Calls throughout April.
Sixteen individuals from Goodfellow were honored with the prestigious President's Volunteer Service Award for their volunteer service in 2006: Airman 1st Class Henry Armas, Tech. Sgt. Kelly Bales, Airman 1st Class Jamin Casselman, Senior Master Sgt. Kyle Clement, Elisabeth Hartford, Master Sgt. Philip Hudson, Mark Jarmon, Staff Sgt. Dewey Landers III, Senior Airman Blake Manuel, Airman 1st Class Alan Morford, Master Sgt. Peter Nusskern II, Senior Airman Shaun O'Dell, Shannen Osborne, Tech. Sgt. William Petrazzuolo, Gregory Ranard and Master Sgt. Timothy Sirmans.

The National Volunteer Week theme, "Inspire by Example," truly reflects the motivating effect volunteers have on those they serve and upon others to give. National Volunteer Week is sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and the Volunteer Center National Network.

"Volunteers perform countless acts of service and are one of America's most valuable assets," said Robert Goodwin, president and chief executive officer of the Points of Light Foundation. "During the past year, volunteers nationwide have continued to reach out to their neighbors both near and far. National Volunteer Week is the ideal time to honor volunteers meeting community needs around the country and calling the public's attention to their tremendous contributions."

During National Volunteer Week, thousands of volunteers nationwide received presidential recognition for their service through the President's Volunteer Service Award - the most prestigious volunteer award currently associated with the White House. Like National Volunteer Week, this award seeks to inspire by example, honoring the service of our country's most committed volunteers and sharing their achievements to encourage more Americans to volunteer.

This award is issued by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in the American spirit and encourage all Americans to contribute to their communities through volunteer service. These volunteers were recognized at Commander Calls in April, and receive a certificate, a letter signed by President Bush and a lapel pin.

In addition, the Air Force Volunteer Excellence Award was awarded to Betty Ashworth, Gary Griffin and Lew Burnett. The Air Force VEA was established to recognize federal civilians, family members, and military and federal retirees who perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct, and consequential nature. Each received a certificate signed by the Air Force Chief of Staff and was presented by the 17th Training Wing commander.

Group commanders may award the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal to military members within their realm of authority. Military members become eligible for the MOVSM by performing outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct, and consequential nature. The MOVSM recognizes service provided to a community over time, but may only be awarded to a member once per tour of duty.

For more information on the President's Volunteer Service Award, visit www.PresidentialService Awards.gov.

The Goodfellow Airman and Family Readiness Flight serves as the Certifying Organization for verification of the award. When registering on the Presidential Service Awards website, list ZQN-16611. To learn more about the Air Force Volunteer Excellence Award, or the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, visit the Airman and Family Readiness Flight webpage at www.familysupportgoodfellow.org.

During 2006, more than 900 Goodfellow volunteers contributed 49,277 hours to the health and well-being of the Goodfellow and San Angelo communities. Based on the 2006 estimate for the value of a volunteer hour, $18.77 per hour, those volunteers indirectly contributed $924,929 in labor.

While the monitory savings are significant, "The true value of volunteer time is the vital role that they play in helping millions of charitable organizations and communities across the country," said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector. "Volunteering is about giving, contributing, and helping others. The estimate helps put into perspective the enormous contributions provided by our nation's volunteers." IS calculates the hourly value of volunteer time based on the average hourly wage for non-management workers as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 12 percent increase to estimate for fringe benefits.

National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing an annual celebration of volunteering. Every president since has signed a proclamation promoting the week.

"We hope that National Volunteer Week will motivate others to volunteer their time and talent to help our country's most vulnerable residents - the homeless, the hungry, the elderly, at-risk youth, and the disabled," concluded Goodwin.

Goodfellow personnel regularly form teams and participate in Habitat for Humanity (building homes for low-income families), Rebuilding Together (home repairs for those in need), the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life, Keep San Angelo Beautiful, Meals on Wheels, and many other local and national worthy causes throughout the year. Individuals and families also volunteer in schools, churches, Big Brothers Big Sisters and dozens of other areas.

The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network support the vital work of millions of volunteers, who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities nationwide. To learn more about the volunteer opportunities in our community, visit www.familysupportgoodfellow.org or contact Ms. Maureen Hartford at 654-3893.