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Home : News : News
NEWS | April 15, 2024

BAMC recognizes volunteers for extraordinary service

By Lori Newman Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Brooke Army Medical Center Volunteer Appreciation Week culminated with a ceremony on April 5 to honor the individuals who donate their time to serve others.

During the event, the 2023 Volunteers of the Year for specific categories were announced. Those selected went on to compete at the Joint Base San Antonio level. Several BAMC volunteers also received awards during the JBSA event on April 17 as well.

“What a great opportunity to come together as the BAMC Family and to recognize some really incredible people and groups,” said BAMC Commander Col. Mark Stackle. “Thanks to all of our amazing volunteers. We are so incredibly blessed for all of the contributions that our volunteers make.”

Stackle noted that BAMC has more than 175 volunteers serving within the organization who have contributed thousands of hours of service.

“If you translated all of that work (into a dollar mount), it’s almost a million dollars worth of work that our volunteers do,” Stackle said. “I think what this really represents is the passion that people have about our mission.”

The volunteers honored during the BAMC ceremony were:

  • Dr. Jay Higgs who volunteers in the Rheumatology Service was selected as the Individual-Professional Volunteer of the Year.
  • Of 19 volunteers nominated in the Individual-Nonprofessional Volunteer of the Year category Charles “Chuck” Lutz, who works as an operating room administrative assistant, was selected.
  • Sharon Restivo was selected as the Fisher House Volunteer of the Year.
  • James and Dorine MacHarrie garnered the honor of Family of the Year for their volunteer work as ward listeners on 4 West.
  • Elio Ayala received the Teen Volunteer of the Year award for his work this past summer in the Sterilization, Processing, and Distribution Division as part of their crash cart team.
  • The CareMobile drivers took home the prize for Group of the Year.
  • Additionally, 79 BAMC volunteers received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for serving 100 hours or more over the course of one year.

The highlight of the event was when Micheal Dulevitz, chief of Volunteer Services recognized longtime volunteer Victor Lopez who retired from volunteer service at the age of 96.

A visibly emotional Dulevitz spoke about the Korean and Vietnam war veteran who volunteered at BAMC for more than 29 years after retiring as a sergeant major with 30 years of military service.

“He is a kind man,” Dulevitz said. “A gentle and humble man. He asked for a no-notice departure, but we could not just let him go without saying goodbye.”

When asked why he chose to volunteer at BAMC, Lopez said, “I don’t know. I had some extra time.”

“BAMC has been very, very important to me and I wish I could continue but my hearing is going bad, my legs are going bad, my sight is going bad, so I might as well do something else,” Lopez said with a laugh. “I might as well go to the park and feed the pigeons.”

Stackle said it was a privilege to recognize Lopez for his service.

“What a tremendous honor,” the commander said. “You have been serving with so many different commanders and so many different patients and staff. Thank you for everything you have done for our country and our patients.”