Annual ceremony recognizes volunteers

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Team Hurlburt, family members and community partners celebrated Angel Award and Volunteer Excellence Award nominees at the Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony here, April 13.

The Angel Award was established by Eunice Welch, wife of retired Gen. Larry D. Welch, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and recognizes the volunteer contributions to military installations during the previous calendar year.

Mrs. Welch desired to acknowledge those who shared their time and talents without expecting rewards or thanks. Volunteers in three categories were recognized with this year’s Angel Award. The categories consisted of Active Duty, Youth, Family Member of Active Duty, and Team for their incredible contributions.

“Hurlburt Field’s Community Commando Volunteers contribute invaluable time and talent both, on and off base,” said Deborah Mobley, Hurlburt Field Volunteer Resource Program Coordinator. “Today, we take time out to show our appreciation for their daily selfless acts of kindness.”

The Volunteer Excellence Award was established in 1998 by then Secretary of the Air Force Frederick Whitten Peters. The award was created to recognize the extended volunteer efforts of up to four individuals at each base for their long-term outstanding volunteer service to any military installation and its surrounding communities.

The VEA recognizes life-long volunteerism of Air Force family members, retirees and civilians.

The ceremony was hosted by Col. Thomas Palenske, the commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, and Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Weimer, representing the command chief of the 1st Special Operations Wing.

In addition to the official ceremony, Gregory Copeland, provided remarks and a special presentation to Youth category nominees in honor of his son, Gerran.

All 41 nominees were recognized for volunteering. The Angel Award recipients were:

Active Duty category: Tech. Sgt. Breyson Robinson, 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron

Youth category: Victoria Grant

Family Member of Active Duty category: Starr Barton

Team category: the Deployment Relief Team comprised of 11th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron members

The following Nominees were awarded the Volunteer Excellence Award: Susan Copeland, Steven Haggett and John Lauten.

Palenske concluded the ceremony stating that hearing the achievements of the volunteers honored here today made one think, “I can do more.”