Volunteers’ efforts recognized across III MEF
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Family readiness officers for 3rd Marine Logistics Group and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, both units with III Marine Expeditionary Force, hosted volunteer appreciation luncheons April 16 at the Habu Pit on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and April 17 at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster, respectively, as part of National Volunteer Month.
National Volunteer Month is celebrated annually to recognize the work and support provided by volunteers stateside and abroad.
The FROs and the commanding generals of the units honored the volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of work and support to family readiness programs while seeking nothing in return, according to Michelle Budzien, the FRO with 3rd MLG, III MEF.
“The volunteers support anything that the family readiness program hosts to increase camaraderie in Okinawa,” said Budzien. “We owe them a world of thanks for their support. They are crucial to mission success in Okinawa.”
During the 1st MAW luncheon, Brig. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, spoke on behalf of the volunteers being recognized and congratulated them on their hard work.
“Those of you who have stepped up to volunteer have done wonderful,” said Rudder, the commanding general of 1st MAW, III MEF. “Those of you that have stepped up to the plate to volunteer to help with taxes, face painting or cooking meals need to be recognized. No matter how small, everybody has a talent here.
“If we can have a process that allows this talent to come to the table, that’s what being a volunteer and having a volunteer program is all about,” added Rudder.
The efforts of volunteers are done out of selfless devotion rather than personal gain, but it is nice to be recognized for their hard work, according to Tanya Campbell, a volunteer for the family readiness office with Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
“The Marines and sailors do so much for (their units), so if the FRO needs help, I help to support the regiment,” said Campbell. “Giving of yourself is not something you necessarily have to be good at, it’s about having compassion for others.”
Regional security obligations and involvement in exercises with other nations have shown the true level of support volunteers provide to 3rd MLG, according to Nelson.
“In the last two and a half months (3rd MLG) has participated in over eight exercises back-to-back,” said Nelson. “We continue to separate from our families, and that’s where (the volunteers) come in. You make a big difference.”
Volunteers’ selfless work and support for community and service members play a key role in sustaining successful units and the military as a whole, according to Campbell.
“I hope that support for one another will carry out to all units,” said Campbell. “Being supportive of one another is what makes the military work.”