By Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley

15th Sustainment Brigade

public affairs

Harker Heights - The 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, recognized volunteer of the year nominees March 26 at an informal ceremony at the house of battalion commander Lt. Col. Paula Lodi.

The ceremony also served to recognize the unit's Adopt-a-School and Adopt-a-Unit partners while bringing together the representatives of organizations that were a part of or considering joining the Adopt-a -Unit program.

"We don't have enough opportunity to interact with and thank our community partners so we wanted to combine our volunteer recognition with an appreciation event for our community partners," Lodi said.

Volunteer of the year nominees are submitted by companies to battalions, which in turn pick the best ones and submit those to brigade. Brigades do the same and so forth up to III Corps.

The Headquarters and Headquarters Company nominee was MacKenzie Vance, 11, Lodi's daughter. Vance's volunteer work included singing at local nursing homes with her school's choir and volunteering more than 120 hours through the Animal Lovers Club where she organized fundraisers and other supportive projects. She even asked for money to donate to the animal shelter for her birthday instead of presents. Vance was also the battalion's youth nomination.

"Later this month she will be recognized as the III Corps and Fort Hood youth volunteer of the year," Lodi said.

Other nominees were:

Kimberly Walker, Alpha Company's family readiness group leader

Amy McMurchie, 15th Financial Management Company and 15th Sustainment spouse's nominee

Spc. Maria Gooding, 157th Quartermaster Company

Staff Sgt. Kathryn Williams, 289th Quartermaster Company

Master Sgt. Cynthia Sewell, 565th Quartermaster Company

Lodi also showed the unit's appreciation to Clarke Elementary School on Fort Hood, the unit's Adopt a School partner, by giving a school representative a Wagonmaster print. Battalion soldiers volunteer more than 125 hours monthly at the school.

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