Being a soldier in today’s Army is not an easy task. Doing the job well requires hard work, dedication, time and a serious commitment. But that doesn’t prevent Army Sgt. Summer Denton and many others like her from carving a little personal time out of their busy work schedules to volunteer and give back to the community.
Denton and several other soldiers and civilians were honored April 24 at the 15th annual MEDDAC Volunteer Awards Ceremony in Winn Army Community Hospital’s Patriot Auditorium.
“This award means a lot to me. I went out and helped with the Rivers Alive. There were over 150 people, and we cleaned up the river. It was a cold fall day, but people actually came out, and we worked together as a group and we cleaned up the community and made it a better place,“ said Denton, a nurse who works in a patient-recovery room at Winn Army Community Hospital. “To give to the community means a lot to me. My family has been doing it and our volunteers come out here to the hospital, which takes a load off of us a lot of the time. So, it’s nice to be able to help them and give back to the community.”
Nearly 400 soldiers, civilians and community volunteers supported the Fort Stewart MEDDAC volunteer program during 2013. That number includes volunteers from the American Red Cross, who saved Fort Stewart MEDDAC and the Department of the Army an estimated $394,625 through the work they performed during the year.
“Volunteers are found throughout our organization — from the front desk, to the outpatient clinics, to the operating room,” said Brigitte Cabeza-Shanken, director of volunteer services. “However, we aren’t just recognizing Red Cross volunteers who came into the MEDDAC to help. We’re also recognizing our own soldiers and civilians who gave their time outside of the organization by visiting with veterans at the VA in Dublin, Georgia, and the residents of Coastal Manor Nursing Home in Ludowici, coaching youth programs and helping the city of Hinesville with the Project Homeless Connect event, among many others.”
The volunteers were recognized by Winn Army Community Hospital Commander Col. Kirk W. Eggleston and MEDDAC Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph L. Cecil.
“This was a big group of people who volunteered their time and talents to serve the community,” Eggleston said.