11th ADA recognizes brigade volunteers at ceremony
Sgt. Jonathan Montgomery, 11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs | Fort Bliss Monitor | 22 May 2008
The 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade leadership formally acknowledged its own civilian and military volunteers throughout the brigade for their long-reaching contributions to the Fort Bliss and El Paso communities during a Brigade Volunteer Recognition ceremony Tuesday at the Officers’ Club.
“I would like to thank everyone for taking time out of your very busy schedules as we recognize this fine group of dedicated volunteers,” said Maj. David Baxter, the brigade deputy commanding officer.
The theme for this year’s volunteer appreciation, “Our Volunteers are Golden,” paid tribute to the awardees’ commitment to community outreach initiatives.
The civilian awardees received the Commander’s Award for Public Service, which captured their contributions to the Army, the brigade, their units and the Soldiers.
The military awardees received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal in recognition of the “countless hours in support of a myriad of worthwhile activities that encompass support to their unit, military and civilian organizations,” said Baxter.
“It’s a good feeling (to receive this award),” said Staff Sgt. Willard Cavitt, an administrative clerk with the 286th Signal Company, who spends his off time volunteering regularly with the Big Brothers Association, the Boy Scouts of America and his local church group.
“He’s a top-notch (noncommissioned officer) in the company who volunteers to step up,” said 1st Sgt. Kevin Taylor, the 286th first sergeant. “Not a day goes by that somebody doesn’t have to rely on Staff Sergeant Cavitt.”
Much like Cavitt, Staff Sgt. Cheryl Harris volunteers with the Big Sister Association, teaching young girls how to build confidence in life, save money and pursue an education. She also contributes her time and energy at a local hospital.
“This (award) means a lot,” said Harris, the 286th motor sergeant. “I volunteer to help those in need. It has to be done from the heart.”
Of the 38 volunteers in his unit, Cavitt said he continually motivates those around him to give back to the community in greater ways than they can receive.
“What people don’t understand, they don’t normally volunteer for,” he said, adding that he hopes to convince people to donate their time experiencing new things.