Volunteer motivated by help she
once received from a family
By Barbara L. Sellers, Northwest Guardian
Published: 12:38PM July 24th, 2008
The Fort Lewis Volunteer of the Month for July knows what it’s like to be brand new to Army life.
Three weeks after Kira Ann Sanders married Capt. Wayne Sanders, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, he deployed for 15 months.
Although she worked as a contractor on Fort Huachuaca, Ariz., Sanders didn’t come from a military background. “I knew nothing about Army life,” she said. “Being from Arizona, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have family here to help and I didn’t know the area.”
The family readiness group for her husband’s unit, however, came to the rescue.
“They were very helpful with all of those things,” Sanders said. “Not only did I get to know the Army way, but I also formed some lifelong friendships.”
Now, two years later, Sanders wants to give back to others the same kind of help she received.
“When my husband took command (of his company), I gratefully and gladly took over the FRG,” she said. “I will be happy to do it until the day he is no longer in command.”
Her husband has been her greatest inspiration to volunteer, she said.
In addition to volunteering for her company’s FRG, Sanders also volunteers in her church.
Just how much time she gives to her volunteer work mostly depends on what’s happening.
“I try to make it (FRG events) as fun as possible,” she said.
For the past six months, Shepanee Clarke, FRG leader for A Company, 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion., has helped Sanders with various FRG functions.
“She’s a fun kind of person to be around,” Clarke said. “She tries to come up with new ideas all the time. For example, she even had a karaoke night.”
According to Kym Jones, FRG adviser, 502nd MI Bn., that event was a huge success.
“Everybody dressed up in 1980s dresses and we had 1980s music,” she said. “About 80 percent of the entire battalion showed up and that’s simply phenomenal.”
Jones explained that because of the small size of the battalion’s companies, many FRG functions are combined to include the entire battalion.
“Even though Kira (Sanders) is a young spouse and is still rather new to the Army, she has a lot of enthusiasm,” Jones said. “She just hit the ground running. Even when an event includes more than one company, she often does nearly all of the planning.”
It’s important to try to make each event interesting because nobody wants to show up to something and be bored, Sanders said.“The best way to get something done that you want done is to get involved,” she said. “One person really does have a voice that matters and really can make a difference.”