Spc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Brigade Public Affairs,
8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Dr. Mary E. Walker award was presented, here, June 29, to an Army spouse in the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
Jami Fordice, family readiness group leader, 58th MP Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Bde., received the award.
The award’s namesake, Walker, served as a field surgeon during the Civil War and is the only woman to have ever received the Medal of Honor. Established in 1996, the award honors Army spouses whose service merits special recognition for their work toward the betterment of life for Soldiers and their families.
Fordice’s creativity, charisma and dedication were noted as exemplary, earning her the commendation. She encouraged camaraderie and resiliency for Soldiers and their families, not only in her capacity as an FRG leader, but within all her volunteer work during the last 10 years, said Maj. Scott Koast, rear detachment commander, 728th MP Bn.
As an FRG leader, Fordice raised more than $3,000, through morale and welfare events, like bake sales and Halloween haunted houses.
While she may not have been crossing enemy lines or dodging bullets to administer medical aid like Walker did during the Civil War, Fordice’s obstacles and time restrictions could make the most-hardened volunteer think twice.
When the 58th MP Co. asked her to build an FRG from the ground up, Fordice was already juggling two kids, a 30-hour-a-week job and volunteer commitments to youth sports leagues and local schools. However, the loss of the little free time she had didn’t cross her mind.
“Somebody had to step up and do it; why not me?” Fordice said.
She had firsthand experience in how important the FRG is.
“(During) my first experience with deployment, I didn’t know what an FRG was, and I didn’t stay involved,” she said. “When my husband came back from his deployment, I wasn’t there; I didn’t know they were coming back that day. We were embarrassed, and we felt isolated. I don’t want any young couple to live through anything like I did.”
With her husband, Master Sgt. Justin Fordice, operations sergeant, 58th MP Co., just beginning his deployment with the unit in Afghanistan, the award is bittersweet and humbling.
“The Army has given us a lot; I do this not for how it makes me feel, I do it for the other spouses,” she said.
The company’s FRG plans to be active during the unit’s deployment; events include FRG members walking the equivalent of the distance to Afghanistan.
The award was presented at the brigade’s 3rd quarter Sgt. Audie Murphy and Dr. Mary E. Walker Award Ceremony at the Martinez Gym, here.