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Posted: April 26, 2018 2:55 p.m.
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3rd ID thanks community volunteers

Spc. Noelle E. Wiehe /50th PAD

Col. Jason Wolter, garrison commander of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, presents a symbolic check to Brig. Gen. Sean Bernabe, Task Force Marne commander, for the money saved thanks to the 48,534 volunteer hours put in by Soldiers and Family Members of the 3rd Infantry Division during the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards Ceremony April 20 at Club Stewart on Fort Stewart. Volunteers were presented awards and honored during the annual ceremony. See story and additional photos, Page 1B.

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 The 3rd Infantry Division held its annual volunteer appreciation ceremony, April 20 at Club Stewart to recognize more than 30 volunteers for contributing approximately 48,500 hours in services to the community.  

Task Force Marne Commander, Brig. Gen. Sean Bernabe presented the volunteers with the Marne Spirt Award and thank them for their sacrifice and service.  

Bernabe said the volunteer appreciation ceremony was important to the division because it recognizes the volunteer spirit; especially during times of limited resources. 

3rd ID Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to Staff Sgt. Ziyah Judson, 188th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Soldier volunteer of the Year; McKenzie Stone, Medical Department Activity Command, Spouse volunteer of the year; Audrey Stauffer, U.S. Army Garrison, youth volunteer of the year; the Webb Family, Family volunteer of the year; and Jaime Waterbury, U.S. Army Garrison, Department of the Army civilian volunteer of the year.

Many of the volunteers try to work under the radar, he added, avoiding the spotlight.  It is important to recognize them – first to say thanks, but also because it is important to show how much we need and appreciate volunteers.  

“President Nixon saw the need for such formal recognition,” Bernabe said. “In fact it was on this day, 20 April, 44 years ago, President Nixon officially designated one week in April as National Volunteer Week.” 

The volunteers recognized included Soldiers, spouses, Families and DA civilians, who contribute in various ways to benefit the community. 

“Those we honor tonight are no strangers to service and sacrifice," Bernabe said. "Among them are Soldiers.  Soldiers who spend their week days training to answer the nation’s call.  But who spend their weeknights, weekends and holidays; coaching sport teams, playing in a church choir – even organizing Thanksgiving Turkey drives.”

He said spouses run households and family readiness groups, volunteer in the school classrooms and lead scouting programs. There are military children who help run the teen center, landscape at schools and raise funds for projects. 

Bernabe also applauded the military Families who support the volunteer program.  They not only build stronger bonds in the Family unit, but also help teach the spirit of volunteerism.    

Community members can learn more about volunteerism by contacting Army Community Services at 767-5058, or visiting online at

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