JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
A special recognition ceremony was held April 13 to honor all the volunteers who contribute to the health care mission at Brooke Army Medical Center.
Fourteen individual volunteers, five groups and one family were selected as BAMC’s Volunteers of the Year for 2021.
Brig. Gen. Clinton Murray, BAMC commanding general, said the volunteers are the “special sauce” that makes BAMC so special, noting that the volunteers were greatly appreciated for their service and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You really make everyone happy, and that’s why I’m so thrilled to be here, to recognize you and just say thanks,” Murray said.
The ceremony also honored longtime volunteer Shirley Adcock, who is retiring from volunteering after serving nearly 26 years at BAMC.
Some tears were shed as the 94-year-old “Australian firecracker,” as she is affectionately called by Michael Dulevitz, Office of Volunteer Services chief, explained why she felt she needed to volunteer.
“When I was at home in Australia, and we had been at war since 1939, and all of our boys were overseas in the Middle East, and we didn’t know what to do … we thought were going to be the next ones to be taken over by the Japanese,” she said tearfully.
“Here came the Americans, we thought they were funny at first, because we didn’t know half of what they were talking about,” she said with a giggle. “Anyway, they all turned up and God save them, they saved us. This is why, I hope I’ve paid back some of what we owe everybody. Thank you very much.”
Adcock received a standing ovation as she was presented the Commander’s Award for Public Service and the Texas governor’s Yellow Rose of Texas Award.
“Shirley has contributed significantly to the quality of life and healthcare delivered to those she served -- staff, patients, family members and visitors alike,” Dulevitz said. “Her almost 26 years of volunteer service allowed her to amass a total of over 14,000 hours in the hospital alone, compounded by that many hours at home making hand-knitted characters for BAMC children, for a conservative total of 28,000 hours or more, which translates into a gifted labor amount of approximately $750,000.”
Individual Volunteers of the Year:
• Retired Army Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, COVID-19 Vaccine Site
• Jan-Henry Haines, Department of Pharmacy
• Ernesto Rivera, Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care
• Kris Blair and therapy dog Huckleberry, Department of Nursing
• Dr. Candice Castro, Department of Hospital Education
• Joyce Earnest, COVID-19 Vaccine Site
• HeideMarie Hundley, COVID-19 Vaccine Site
• Retired Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Jarvis, COVID-19 Vaccine Site
• Shirley Kea, Department of Pharmacy
• Liz Martinez, Patient Library
• Elvira Morales, Pediatrics
• Dr. Forrest Oliverson, COVID-19 Vaccine Site
• Irma Pennington, Outpatient Records
• John Scanlon, Provost Marshal Office
Family of the Year:
• Diane and Clarence Johnson, COVID-19 Vaccine Site
Groups of the Year:
• Critical Care and Emergency Nurse Course patient actors
• COVID-19 Vaccine Site team
• Medical Library aides
• Patient Transport and Ambassadors group
• Ward 6T Therapy Dog teams
These volunteers worked a combined total of about 13,500 hours in 2021.
“We understand this is a full-time job you don’t get paid for, so we appreciate your full-time work without getting paid,” Murray said. “Hopefully this little bit of appreciation says how special you are and truthfully BAMC could not work near as effectively without you. Thank you all very much.”