Two Army spouses received the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award during a ceremony Sept. 26 at Hays Hall.
Michelle Mayfield and Christine Thompson have distinguished themselves by outstanding volunteer service contributing to the mission of the Army and to the welfare of the Army Family.
Walker served on a volunteer basis as a field surgeon in the Union Army. She was a prisoner of war and is the only female recipient of the Medal of Honor. She was a humanitarian, devoted to the care and treatment of the sick and wounded during the Civil War, where she often put her life at risk.
Mayfield is the wife of Capt. David Mayfield, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment. They have been married for six years and have three children. She volunteers with Army Community Service on Fort Drum.
“It’s been my pleasure to volunteer with ACS, and I have enjoyed the free child care,” Mayfield said with a laugh.
Maj. Gen. Mike Oates, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, thanked Mayfield for her efforts.
“It is heartening that people volunteer their time on behalf of the rest of us. It’s great to recognize people who do great work for us,” Oates said. “Thank you very much for the great volunteer work and the example you set for all of us, Michelle.”
Thompson is the wife of Sgt. Patrick Thompson. They have been married for four years and have a daughter. She has been the platoon key caller, mentored younger wives during B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment’s deployment to Afghanistan, organized the company’s Expert Infantryman Badge bake sale, helped plan the battalion formal and more.
“I love working with all the Families, getting to know them all and building friendships,” Thompson said. “Thank you so much for honoring me. I feel very privileged to receive this award.”
Oates said that it was very important to take the time to thank those who volunteer, and he congratulated Thompson on receiving the award. His wife also thanked both recipients in a speech.
“Volunteering is never easy when you’re juggling family and children,” Barbara Oates said. “I reread the citation for the Mary Walker that I haven’t read in 10 or 12 years, and I was struck by the kind of woman she was when they describe her personal courage and selflessness in all she did.
“I think in this time of war that it’s even more difficult to step forward and be a volunteer like (you) have done and what you’ve faced,” she said. “I see (you) as having personal courage and putting others before yourselves. I’m real proud of (you) for that.”