Volunteers shine at USARHAW awards ceremony

| May 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

U.S. Army Hawaii leaders recognize the community’s volunteers at the annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony Friday. (Photo by Miki Lau, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation)

Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — U.S. Army Hawaii leaders recognized the community’s volunteers at an annual awards ceremony and luncheon at the Nehelani Conference & Banquet Center, Friday (April 28).

Those who received awards at the 2017 U.S. Army Hawaii Volunteer Recognition Ceremony represented just a fraction of the volunteers who help the Army in Hawaii fulfill its mission, said Maj. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii.

“The people we recognized today really stood out, but volunteering is so much more than just getting the award at the end,” he said, “so we want to start by thanking all of the volunteers who didn’t get recognized today as well. Your contributions are immeasurable.”

Measuring value
It was estimated that the community’s nearly 600 registered volunteers had “paid” the Army in Hawaii $1,843,540.42 through the donation of about 76,000 hours of their time and energy, but Cavoli said money is not the full measure of what volunteers do for the community.

“The value of volunteer service is what you ladies and gentlemen do for our community, a community that can’t be a community unless people are involved in the community, unless people contribute to the community and unless people take time from themselves to give to others,” he said. “Those of you 592 registered volunteers who do this methodically and deliberately and purposefully for our community, there’s not really a way to thank you for that. There’s certainly not a way to measure it in dollars.

His words resonated with the volunteers.

“It’s not about money. I just knew I wanted to be of service to other women, especially military spouses because military spouses already have so much stress to deal with on top of taking care of their children,” said Crystal Landis, a volunteer for the Moms of Preschoolers program, which is run through U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Integrated Religious Support Office and the 25th Infantry Division’s unit ministry teams. The program gives parents of young children a place to gather for support and fellowship.

Landis received a Na Koa Award, which is reserved for volunteers whom USARHAW considers its best, for her volunteer work with the MOPs program.

Chaplain (Col.) Steve Peck said the USARHAW chaplains, like ministers everywhere, depend on volunteers like Landis to keep their programs running.

“We cannot do what we do without them,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the 25th ID and USARHAW, and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brzak of the 25th ID and USARHAW, congratulate Maj. William Flather and his wife, Brittany Flather, for winning the family volunteer of the year award. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Hui O Na Wahine President Brittany Flather received four awards: one on behalf of her efforts with the Hui, another for being the Civilian Volunteer of the Year, a third (shared with her husband) for Family Volunteer of the Year, and a Na Koa Award.

Her husband, Maj. William Flather of U.S. Army Pacific’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, received the Family Volunteer of the Year award and an award for his efforts with Boy Scouts Pack 166.

The Flathers said they volunteered to give back to organizations that had shaped them. William Flather participated in Boy Scouts as a youth and Brittany Flather was drawn to Hui O Na Wahine’s mission to raise money for scholarships because she made it through nursing school with financial help from scholarships.

In turn, volunteering helped them forge meaningful connections in their community.

“Volunteering is a direct way to get roots in the community,” Brittany Flather said, adding that getting involved is a means to making friends and staving off feelings of isolation at a new post.

“Start small,” she added. “We didn’t end up here overnight. We started by just showing up and helping set up tables at events, then slowly took on more responsibilities over time.”

“You don’t have to jump in and do everything,” William Flather agreed. “Just do what you can because it’s not about you. It’s about the people you’re volunteering for.”

Maj. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii, Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brzak of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii, Col. Stephen Dawson, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Mary Ann Scott, coordinator of the awards ceremony and Command Sgt. Maj. Lisa Piette-Edwards of USARG-HI, pose with a check illustrating the $1,843,540.42 volunteers “paid” USARHAW through their volunteer work in 2017. (Photo by Karen Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)


USARHAW Volunteer of the Year

Megan Davis, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade
Dr. Andrea Disque, 3rd Brigade Combat Team
Staff Sgt. Daniel Estrada, Boy Scouts Pack 176
Brittany Flather, Hui O Na Wahine
Maj. William Flather, Boy Scouts Pack 166
Morgan Floyd, 25th Division Artillery
Janet Grider, Boy Scouts Pack 142
Andrea Lamanteer, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
Jessica Perrine, 25th Sustainment Brigade
Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, Drunk Driving Prevention Program
Esther Zuniga, 2nd Brigade Combat Team


Spc. Matthew Von Stetten

USARHAW Civilian

Brittany Flather

USARHAW Family Volunteer of the Year

Maj. William and Mrs. Brittany Flather

USARHAW Na Koa Award for Volunteer Service

Kristen Brown
Spc. Eligio Cruz
Megan Davis
Kim Dettwiller Burton
Dr. Andrea Disque
Lani Ellis
Staff Sgt. Daniel Estrada
Marissa Estrada
Brittany Flather
Sgt. Richard Garza
Spc. Nathaniel Haumschild
Spc. Leah Jackson
Tamekia Jones
Crystal Landis
Kimberly Lugo
Tiffany Macmanus
Christine Miller
Nicole Morris
Josie Sarsona
Tiffany Spear
Francine Tarpley
Spc. Matthew Von Stetten
Jennifer Wurst
Esther Zuniga

Become a Volunteer
For more information on becoming a USARHAW volunteer, call the Army Volunteer Program at 655-4227 or visit https://Hawaii.armymwr.com and search for “Army Volunteer Program.”

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Category: Community

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