Sustainment Command Honors Volunteers
Story by: Sgt. Ann Ogonowski
Photos by: Spc. Serena Franks
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office
FORT HOOD, Texas — The commanding officer of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expediditionary), honored volunteers at a ceremony at his quarters here, Jan. 24.
Col.Paul L. Wentz, commanding officer of the 13th SC(E), and his wife Eliane, opened their home to honor the recipients of the 13th SC(E) Volunteer of the Quarter awards. Soldiers, the awardees, and guests filled the home with warmth and gratitude, in contrast to the cloudy dampness of the late afternoon.
The commanding officer’s wife greeted the guests while Soldiers from headquarters section prepared the post-presentation spread.
“Before the winter storm coming, it is important to take time out to thank volunteers by the fire to keep warm,” Wentz began, “Various resources fall short, without folks like you, Family Readiness Groups, who take time to let folks know we care about them and make things easier for them, cherish the whole 13th & Fort Hood community.”
Jennifer Jones received the Volunteer of the Quarter (first quarter fiscal year 2008) award from Wentz, who stated, “Jennifer provided unwavering dedication and exemplary service by donating three hundred hours of volunteer time, starting the ribbon program, being part of the care team, and raising money for the Battalion truck rodeo. She is an angel in the midst of the 13th.”
A native of Oklahoma City, Jones supported her husband’s unit, the 418th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th SC(E), as an FRG leader from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2007.
She said her motivation was, “caring and loving to help people: family members and Soldiers from the ‘King of the Roads’”. She currently serves as a Family Readiness Support Assistant for the 163rd Military Intelligence Company.
Merit Award winners included Leslie Hill, Venessa McGraw, and Susan Krogh. Spc. Julie Burnes, a command secretary with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th SC(E), although not present, was praised for her efforts by Wentz, “This Soldier raised money from Battalion to help the Red Cross during California Fire relief, an achievement for a Specialist, who is also a recipient of the Fort Hood Hero award.”
Krogh, a native of the West Indies, Trinidad, carried on a family tradition. “My mother would buy a hot meal for a homeless person without expecting recognition”, she said.
Her motivation included her kids, who have been volunteering with her since they were four years old.
“It is also important to contribute to community through various activities; for example, making and giving out blankets,” said Krogh.
Likewise, one of the guests and FRG leaders, Melissa Centifanto, carried on a tradition of caring. Her step-father served as a Military Intelligence Soldier, so she continued to stick around the environment.
“Supporting the military kinda stays with you”, she said.
All recipients received certificates and rounds of applause. Amidst the glow of the warm fireplace, grateful Soldiers forgot the grey outside as they shared the company of a few folks who proved to be part of what makes Fort Hood “The Great Place.”
Col. Wentz and Jennifer Jones
Col. Wentz and Merit Award Winners