Fort Lewis Northwest Guardian
Spouse continues volunteer work after
Barbara L. Sellers/Northwest Guardian
Published: 01:22PM October 16th, 2008
Some volunteers continue serving and don’t appear to slow down, even after their spouses retire from military service.
Queenie Brickner, Fort Lewis Volunteer of the Month for October, is one of them. Although her husband of 33 years retired as a master sergeant from the Air Force, she continues to volunteer 15 to 20 hours per week at the Fort Lewis Fisher House.
“I’ve always liked the military, and I really like the Fisher House,” said Brickner, who has been volunteering there since April 2006 as the “thank you” coordinator.
According to Jody Land, manager of the Fort Lewis Fisher House, Brickner makes sure that all of the donations made to the Fisher House get recognized.
“She is also our event volunteer, so she represents us at the Newcomers’ Orientation once a month at the American Lake (Community Center),” Land said.
Brickner mans the display table, giving out information and answering questions about volunteering at the Fisher House.
“Queenie (Brickner) is one of our most dependable volunteers,” Land said. “She’s one of those volunteers that I never have to worry about how she will represent us, or if she will show up or not. She has always been an extremely dependable and a very positive person.”
Additionally, Brickner serves as a kind of second mother to the other staff members, and always takes good care of everyone, Land said.
“I just like to help,” Brickner said. “I’ve been volunteering since I was in high school. I volunteered with my mother, and she always volunteered to help senior citizens. I’ve always volunteered one way or another.”
While living in California, she volunteered as a coordinator for family services on Norton Air Force Base, and it was there that she faced the most difficult volunteer experience in her life.
A single female Airman suddenly passed away, leaving behind a 2-year-old child.
“That was hard,” she said. “But it makes me feel good if I can help improve other people’s morale by reducing their level of stress.”
In addition to her volunteer work, Brickner works full-time, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., as a nursing assistant. She also enjoys baking, reading, crocheting and traveling.
Before she got married, Brickner served in the Army at Fort Jackson, S.C., Fort Gordon, Ga., and Fort Lewis. She has four adult children and three of them served in the military, as well.“I think it’s a good thing to get out, make friends and learn something about your community while you’re helping others at the same time,” Brickner said. “But there are so many other volunteers who do so much more than I do.”