4th ID volunteers awarded for efforts
Mountaineer staff | Fort Carson Mountaineer | 22 May 2008
The gift of volunteering was recognized at the Elkhorn Conference Center on Fort Carson May 28.
Fifteen volunteers and spouses in 4th Infantry Division Family Readiness Groups were honored with certificates of appreciation and pendants during the Ivy Gold Volunteers of the Year Ceremony.
“You don’t have a Soldier that can do his mission if business is not being taken care of at home — it is a direct effect of the spouse taking care of things on the home front,” said Maj. Timothy Boraas, deputy commander Rear Detachment, 4th ID. “It is an opportunity for the division to recognize some of the key ladies that gave their best throughout the entire year to the mission, Soldier, Family and team.
“Whether they are recognized or not, all these spouses are doing monumental things with their spouse being deployed. These awards — even though there are a dozen or so recognized, they are really indicative. Quite often some are never recognized — they represent all of them not just the individual actions, but the actions of all,” he said.
Command leadership visited the post from Fort Hood, Texas, to award the volunteers in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams.
Col. David Thompson, commander rear detachment; Sgt. Maj. Roger Hines, rear detachment; Diane Hammond, spouse of Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond 4th ID commanding general, presented the awards for volunteer contributions during 2007. Peers recognized the spouses in order for the awards to be presented.
“They had a ceremony at Fort Hood and here. Even though they are two different locations and hundreds of miles apart, they grasp the whole division concept of a team,” Boraas said. “Col. Thompson comes up once or twice a month trying his best to make sure he has coverage over all the division. Hammond is very cognitive of the division regardless of the geographical location of the division.”
Diane Hammond placed pendants around the volunteer’s necks.
“They all do a great job,” she said. “We can not pay for what these ladies do. They would break the bank. Most of their husbands are deployed. They still give to their community they want to make it a better place.
Her husband’s identification tag hanging around her neck, a gift that he had dipped in gold while in Germany.
“It keeps me close to him,” Hammond said.
Her husband spoke via video from Baghdad.
“As volunteers you are always in our hearts,” he said. “The greatest challenge is for the Soldiers deployed.”
He mentioned that the challenge on the home front is also crucial.
“Keeping life as normal as possible is a challenge,” Hammond said. “Thank you for volunteering. Please take care of yourselves and each other. This is one day at a time.”
For Tana Caballero, Army spouse volunteer to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team the recognition was unexpected.
“I was kind of puzzled at first, because I did not realize I was supposed to get something at the ceremony,” she said. “I was expecting to be there for support — I was honestly going there to be the FRG mom — take pictures and clap.”
Her reaction to the recognition mirrors her volunteer philosophy.
“(Volunteering) provides me a way to give back to the Families and Soldiers. Because they already sacrificed so much, they deserve to have people take care of them, do nice things for them. It provides me an avenue — I just do it because I think it is the right thing to do,” she said. Caballero volunteered at a catholic parish and approved volunteer hours for almost a year.
Caballero completed her term as secretary for the Officers’ Spouses’ Club. She is considering volunteering for Santa’s Workshop, when OSC collects toys for military Families that need assistance around Christmas.
Last year, OSC gave out about 1,500 toys and helped about 800 Families, she said.
“I think that the only way people grow is to step outside of their comfort zone and you can do that best by volunteering. By volunteering, they not only help themselves, but their community — If we do not do that here at Fort Carson, who is going to?”
“There are so many organizations that need help on post. You have the potential to touch people’s lives in ways that you would not have thought,” she said.
Caballero said she volunteers more than 100 hours of her time each month.
Diane Hammond, wife of Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, places a pendant around Tana Caballero’s neck during the awards ceremony.
Pam Smith, Company B, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Family Readiness Group leader bowls with other spouses of brigade Soldiers. FRG members on post may bowl for free and pay for their children to bowl at the Thunder Alley Bowling Center.
Tana Caballero, left, discusses the treasure’s book with Shona Myers, senior spouse battalion treasurer. Myers is transitioning from the battalion treasurer to Company A treasurer for FRG, and is the point of contact for Headquarters and Headquarters Company.