24 April 2010

Hats Off to Volunteers! April 18 - 24 Ft. Bliss, TX

I've just returned from my trip to Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX, where I spoke at a luncheon for the post's volunteers. The program is headed by Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) Coordinator, Tephanie Hopper, and her staff from the AVC office located in the ACS Bldg. 2494, for those of you who want to join the legion of incredibly motivated volunteers at Ft. Bliss.

The event I attended was called "WHATTAWEDNDESDAY" on April 21st. This was the second in a series of events planned for the volunteers throughout National Volunteer Week (April 18 - 24). The first get-together of the week was "Manic Monday" and featured a salsa class to help get everyone into the feel-good spirit of the week.

"WHATTAWEDNESDAY" took place in the Centennial Banquet & Conference Center and featured free massages, Reiki, makeovers, food and prizes. A local beauty school was in attendance to give free haircuts and manicures. They even did eyebrows and makeup!

The final event of the week was held Friday night at the Centennial. This was the official Fort Bliss Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony. Awards presented by: Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg. Their guest speaker was Brian McNamara of Lifetime Television's Army Wives.

Here is the information Tephanie sent me:

"Each year our nation celebrates volunteers during National Volunteer Week. The Fort Bliss community follows this great tradition established by President Richard Nixon in 1974. We have numerous activities to show appreciation for the volunteers who selflessly support our Soldiers, Family Members, and Retirees. The largest event is our recognition dinner hosted by our Commanding General. The recognition dinner is scheduled to be held April 23rd from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Our theme is "Hats Off to Volunteers".

The following are some accomplishments of our installation volunteer

2350 volunteers

155,000 hours

3 million dollars worth of hours contributed to the installation.

Volunteer Positions include:

Supporting our youth through coaching sports.

Teaching our family members through Army Family Team Building.

Meeting Soldiers/ Families as they deploy or return from deployment.
Family Readiness Group support

Supporting our Junior Enlisted Family Readiness Group

Soldiers mentoring kids through Partners In Education

Support advocacy walks
Tax Preparation


How could I say No to an invitation like that? I had a great time, got to meet some no-nonsense Army spouses, and came away with a feeling that this is a group of strong women I could definitely be a part of. I would go back to Ft. Bliss in a heartbeat.

I hope some of them will be in D.C. for Spouse Appreciation weekend, May 7 - 9, 2010. I sincerely hope to see you there or back in Fort Bliss.

You ladies ROCK!

~ j

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