By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Fort Hood Herald
Debbie Jarzynkowski received Fort Hood's top volunteer award Thursday, leading a group of 36 teens, soldiers, spouses and retirees honored for giving their time in 2009.
Rich Lucas, Barbara Campbell and Amy Chaffin were recognized for their efforts, receiving volunteers of merit titles.
Fort Hood recognizes its top volunteers every year with a ceremony and awards presentation. This year's theme was "Volunteers Create Magical Moments."
The honorees, who did tremendous work and gave countless hours in 2009, epitomized that, said Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, Fort Hood senior mission commander.
What they did was "nothing short of magic," he added.
The 36 individuals volunteered more than 21,000 hours of time in 2009, and that accounted for $500,000 of labor, Grimsley said.
Jarzynkowski represented the 41st Fires Brigade's 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment.
She volunteered more than 1,500 hours for her family readiness group, her family housing area, Fort Hood Thrift Store, Santa's Workshop, Volunteer Child Care Fund, Smith Middle School, Army Community Service's Celebration of Love and training.
Jarzynkowski, who has served as a foster parent for more than 12 years, "interacts well with the soldiers and families that she represents," according to her nomination memo.
"She is so caring that one soldier said that she was 'like his mother.' She treats every soldier and family member like they were family."
Campbell represented the Soldier and Family Readiness Branch/Army Volunteer Corps. Campbell is a military child who suffered through a genetic disorder and years of corrective surgeries. Despite her hardships, she "continually displays a positive attitude and cheerfulness that is contagious," read her nomination memo.
"This nominee uses her personal experiences with enduring pain and her military family background as tools to better help soldiers and their families cope with the hardships that military life sometimes bring."
Campbell, of Killeen, volunteered her time to benefit Army Community Service's Soldier and Family Readiness Branch and Army Volunteer Corps and 2009's Month of the Military Child Festival.
Lucas represented the Officers' Wives' Club. He gave his time to benefit the Officers' Wives' Club's yearly holiday bazaar, even stepping in as Santa when he was unable to attend, and Wild West Night.
Lucas also spent his time at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, KNCT's Wine Classic, and with Fort Hood's Army Family Action Plan, Mobilization and Deployment Office.
"This volunteer is truly a treasure to this community," read his nomination memo.
Lucas is an Army spouse. His wife is stationed at Fort Polk, La., and he lives in the area to care for his ailing aunt.
Chaffin represented the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team. She volunteered more than 2,200 hours in 2009 to her battalion and brigade family readiness groups, Skipcha Elementary, Union Grove Middle School, St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church and Cub Scout Pack 232.
Chaffin, a Harker Heights resident, has served the families of the 15th Brigade Support Battalion well and they "will continue to look to her for guidance and wisdom throughout 2010," according to her nomination memo.
"The nominee's exceptional character and capacity for giving is above reproach," it went on to read. "She embodies the spirit of the Army community and all that its volunteers stand for. Her seemingly boundless energy and genuine desire and determination to make a difference are an inspiration to all."
Honorees at Thursday's Volunteer of the Year ceremony at Fort Hood:
Joan Horning, III Corps
Debbie Jarzynkowski, 41st Fires Brigade
Sarah Crosswhite, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command
Crystal Bercot, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Jena Pugliese, First Army Division West
Katie Robertson, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
Amy Chaffin, 1st Cavalry Division
Spc. Michael A. Cox, 21st Cavalry Brigade
Nina Burkett, 36th Engineer Brigade
Julie Wankelman, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Victoria Wolford, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
Christine Gehring, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
Laura Aguilar, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade
Stacie Acquistapace, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command
Kacy Bowe, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade
Kelly Brock, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
Jennifer M. Mitchell, 89th Military Police Brigade
Michael Jackson, American Red Cross
Barbara J. Campbell, Army Community Service
Hilary Sill, consolidated, Santa's Workshop
Charles Allen Cyrus Jr., Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation/Child, Youth and School-Age Services
Lety Ford, Enlisted Spouses' Club
Darlene Ewell, Fort Hood thrift Shop
Rich Lucas, Officers' Wives' Club
Martha Jackson, Garrison Chaplain's Office
Karie Wheadon, Girl Scouts of Central Texas
Amanda Thiessen, multiple, 1st Cavalry Division
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Sellers, soldier, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Bonnie Olsen, senior, 1st Cavalry Division
Staff Sgt. James Grisham, soldier, 1st Cavalry Division
Frank W. Leslie, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
Tanya Jones, USO
Jasmin Sabrina Lyons, youth, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command
Ashleigh Van Asperen, youth, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command
Leslie Chaffin, youth, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
Hailey Meinen, youth, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command