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JBSA recognizes hard work of volunteers at annual awards ceremony

By David DeKunder | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Oct. 30, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

Joint Base San Antonio recognized the hard work of individuals and groups who have contributed to the betterment of the military community during its ninth annual Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony Oct. 28 at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only individual and group award winners, JBSA officials, speakers and ceremony organizers were in attendance at the ceremony, which was broadcast on Facebook Live. Participants and those in attendance were required to wear face coverings and seating was set up for physical distancing.

Col. Shane Cuellar, 502nd Force Support Group commander, presented awards to six individuals and three groups for their volunteer work in 2019. The JBSA award winners were among a total of 59 nominations submitted, covering nine award categories.

“Through their selfless actions of service and motivation, all the volunteers we are here to recognize this afternoon have made an enduring impact on the JBSA community and the city of San Antonio,” Cuellar said. “Many organizations rely on volunteers and would not be able to accomplish their important work without them.

"Through combined dedicated efforts, our volunteers are the bond that truly strengthen community partnerships, uniting resources and unique specializations for overall community success,” Cuellar said. 

Awards were presented in the following categories to JBSA members and groups:

  • Outstanding Service Member Volunteer of the Year, Tech. Sgt. Ashley Glass, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center at JBSA-Lackland;
  • Outstanding Family Member Volunteer of the Year, Sarah Kelly, Brooke Army Medical Center Auxiliary Club;
  • Outstanding Retiree Volunteer of the Year, Russell Gawrys, USO JBSA-Fort Sam Houston;
  • Outstanding Civilian Volunteer of the Year, Leasa Northcutt, Defense Language Institute English Language Center at JBSA-Lackland;
  • Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year, Natasha Terrones, Brooke Army Medical Center summer youth program;
  • Outstanding Family Volunteer of the Year, Dewan family;
  • Outstanding Small Group Volunteer of the Year, First Class Petty Officers’ Association, South Texas Region;
  • Outstanding Large Group Volunteer of the Year, Army Medical Department Noncommissioned Officers Academy at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

The Volunteer Excellence Award went to Vincent Williams, George Hammer, Shirley Adcock, and Gloria Ann Riggs; while the President’s Volunteer Service Award went to Shena Eliason, retired Sgt. Maj. Scott Denson, Petty Officer 1st Class Keron Liverpool and Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Cowan.

Senaida Aranda, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC work life specialist and event emcee, revealed that 6,950 JBSA members volunteered a total of 181,018 hours in 2019, which represents an equivalent value of $4.9 million.

For photos of individual and group winners, visit the JBSA Public Affairs Flickr page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbsapublicaffairs/albums/72157716669092312 .