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2004 VIP Award of Merit - Betty Flieg

2004 VIP Award of Merit - Betty Flieg

Betty Flieg - VIP Award Recipient

Fort Lewis, WA

Betty Flieg, spouse of retired Army, Fort Lewis, Washington, has been named one of five Very Important Patriot Award of Merit recipients for 2004. Cash awards of $250 are mailed to the nominating agency for presentation to the Award of Merit recipients.

The VIP Program recognizes fifteen exceptional volunteers worldwide. Five Very Important Patriot, five Award of Honor, and five Award of Merit recipients are chosen for their outstanding service, which contributes to improving the quality of life in their military and neighboring communities. Active duty, guard, reserve, and retired members of the seven uniformed services and their family members and survivors are eligible to receive the awards.

Volunteerism is a way of life for Betty Flieg. This commitment and desire comes naturally and the community benefits greatly because of her efforts. She was a volunteer with the Clover Park School District for 6 years. During that time she was a classroom mom and helped with the "Friday fun" program by teaching jewelry making, paper making, and various crafts to students. She received the Golden Apple Award for her volunteer service. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for many years as well.

Betty is in her 25th year of volunteer service with the Fort Lewis Thrift Shop. She primarily volunteers in the consignment area, but fills in wherever needed. She has been instrumental in sorting, pricing and organizing the donations, which were then sold in the Clearance Center. She has held several liaison positions on the Board of Directors. Betty continually provides leadership and shares her experience and wisdom with the Thrift Shop staff and volunteers. Her dedication to the Thrift Shop brings continuity and quality of service to the community. Betty's volunteer service helped the Thrift Shop contribute $24,661.50 to the Fort Lewis community in 2003. Because of her strong sense of helping the less fortunate, Betty spent her own money to buy items from the Thrift Shop and donate them to Our Lady of Guadalupe, a service through her church which provides toys, clothing, and food to the needy. Since so many items are donated to the Thrift Shop daily, Betty approached the Board of Directors for approval to collect serviceable donated items and donate them to this program. Because of her compassion, caring nature, and strong belief of helping others, the Thrift Shop approved, and Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to receive donated items.

Betty's accomplishments are many and her contributions to Fort Lewis alone, result in over 6,300 hours since 1991. But beyond the volunteer hours Betty contributes to Fort Lewis she has extended her volunteer service to many areas within her community. The impact she makes daily by her volunteer commitment does not go unnoticed.

Betty has been a dedicated volunteer for the American Red Cross for the past 28 years. She plays checkers and cards with patients; she provided hospice service for 5 years, and continued visiting and assisting patients even after they left the hospital. She arranged for a money donation from the AROWS association for a fresh fruit cart, which she takes around to hospital patients one day a month. It was so well received that Betty asked the Red Cross to sponsor one day a month. She now takes the fresh fruit cart around the hospital twice a month. This service provides a friendly smile, compassion, and conversation to the hospital patients. Once a week Betty reads and visits with patients. She brings in magazines and shops for their needs. Her positive outlook, compassion, and comfortable conversation to the hundreds of patients she has visited are extremely beneficial.

Betty is a past president of the Retired Officers Wives Club (ROWC) and for the last 15 years has organized the Christmas Gift Wrap program with half the proceeds donated to the Fort Lewis Army Community Service, and the other half donated to McChord Army Community Service. Many services have been provided to military families from the donations of the gift-wrap program. She was a strong supporter and coordinated free refreshments to be available in the waiting room of the hospital, donated by ROWC. For the past 29 years, Betty has made 30+ corsages for the incoming and outgoing ROWC board members. Her caring commitment to people makes them feel appreciated, special, and important.

Betty visits two shut-in elderly ladies twice a week through the Care and Compassion Outreach Service of the St. Francis Cabrini Church. This service provides them with companionship, friendship, and a connection to their religion as she brings them communion. Betty also volunteers at the Little Church on the Prairie Food Bank one day a month where she gives food to people, accounts for incoming food, and stocks shelves.

Betty is truly an amazing lady. She gives her time, talent, and knowledge without hesitation. Without her dedication, contributions, and commitment to her volunteer service, many organizations and people would not have benefited the difference she makes. Betty's time and energies have been well spent as she has, without a doubt, made an impact on the community and truly enhanced the quality of living for military families and members of the local community. Beyond the contributions Betty makes, she says, "I always get much more than I give!" NMFA is honored to name Betty Flieg as a Very Important Patriot Award of Merit recipient for 2004.