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2001 VIP Award of Honor - SFC Joseph Alvin Belcher, Jr.

2001 VIP Award of Honor - SFC Joseph Alvin Belcher, Jr.

SFC Joseph Alvin Belcher, Jr. (USAG) - Award of Honor

Fayetteville, North Carolina

SFC Joseph Alvin Belcher, Jr. (USAG) of Fayetteville, North Carolina is one of five recipients to receive the Award of Honor for 2001. Each recipient of the Very Important Patriot Award of Honor receives a cash award of $250. Having spent much of his military career at Fort Bragg, SFC Belcher is currently assigned to the 982nd Signal Company (Combat Camera) as a Platoon Sergeant. His volunteer service is not limited to his contributions in the U.S. Army Reserves but also encompasses the volunteer efforts he makes for the local fire department and county Search and Rescue (SAR) Team.

In 1992, SFC Belcher joined the Stoney Point Fired Department. Through the past nine years, Belcher has received several promotions and currently stands as the department's Shift Captain. Among Belcher's contributions to the fire department include instructing, on his own time twice a week, a demanding pre- basic firefighter course as well as provide initial and enhancement training of all department engineers. The engineer training is conducted on his own time. Belcher also responds to emergency phone calls, taking 436 calls in 2000.

Since Stoney Point Fire District is in the flight path of military aircraft, Belcher planned and implemented a helicopter training drill which introduced firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) with helicopter emergency procedures and landing zone designation and marking. Belcher's training course was the first of its kind held at the department and has helped to strengthen relations between the military and the Stoney Point community.

Belcher is also a volunteer for six months out of a year for the Cumberland County Search and Rescue (SAR) Team, which provides water rescues and conducts search missions for lost/missing persons. He devotes two weeks each month to SAR to provide round-the-clock coverage and, as a certified rescue diver, is frequently called upon in underwater evidence recovery dive and body recoveries. During last year alone, he was involved in 4 SAR call outs, including twelve water-related incidents and four lost/missing person searches.

SFC Belcher has been hailed as a vital asset to the U.S. Army Reserves, Stoney Point Community, Cumberland County and the state of North Carolina. According to Deborah Brown, Command Family Support Coordinator at Fort Bragg, "SFC Belcher is a model citizen-soldier who continuously places the needs of others before those of his own." We salute you Joseph!