NMCRS hosts annual volunteer award ceremony

Kady Luke accepts her gifts from Lt. Col. Quentin Vaughn (left), Col. Robert Morgan (right) and Sgt. Maj. Paulette Newcomb (far right) during the Marine Corps Air Station New River Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society’s annual volunteer award recognition ceremony at the Officers’ Club, May 12. Luke had served as a level 3 caseworker and the chairman of volunteers for the society. Vaughn is the commanding officer of the station’s Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. Luke is the chairman of volunteers at the society. Col. Robert Morgan is the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 29. Newcomb is the squadron sergeant major of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29.

Marine Corps Air Station New River’s Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society hosted their annual volunteer award recognition ceremony at the Officers’ Club, May 12. This year’s theme was the Kentucky Derby. Attendees dressed for the event with large hats and bright colors.

“The [society] is a volunteer ran organization. This is our opportunity to recognize them with awards and pins in order to thank them for their service to the society,” said Casie Flippin, director of the station’s society. “This year being Kentucky Derby themed they really got into it with the hats and all that.”

During the ceremony volunteers were awarded based on the amount of time they had donated to the society. Some had donated up to 18,000 hours.

“Today was about the volunteers who have donated thousands of hours of their time,” said Col. Robert Morgan, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 29. “It’s really exceptional to see these volunteers recognized today.”

Commanders from several units aboard the station attended the ceremony to show their appreciation for what they provide to the service members. Volunteers assist in administration work, customer service and making baby blankets and other items for expecting service members.

“The command support means more than anybody could ever realize. With the [society] not being part of the [Department of Defense] but having that command support, it supports our mission of helping service members and partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Flippin. “We are so glad they came. They are always welcome in our office. There’s always a seat for them at our table. We truly love command support.”

The volunteers were each given a certificate, pin and bag of goodies for their hard work.

“They don’t do it because they want the recognition. They don’t do it because they want to be called up in front of everybody,” said Flippin. “It means a lot to them deep down. Although they do it because they love it, and they do it because they want to help service members, [the ceremony] is something they look forward to every year.”

The society has been hosting the ceremonies to honor those volunteers that make the society a success.

“It’s important because [the volunteers] give so much of their time. They don’t get paid. They’re very selfless. They dedicate their time in the day to help our Navy and Marine Corps families and individuals so we would like to honor their time and service,” said Kady Luke, chairman of volunteers at the society. “We appreciate them. We would not have a society if we didn’t have volunteers.”