‘Team mom’ wins Volunteer of Distinction

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***Nickie A. Begeman says she does it for the children in the KMC to make them smile and to teach them the importance of volunteering.

Mrs. Begeman was named the 415th Base Support Battalion’s 2004/2005 Volunteer of Distinction at the Army Community Service Volunteer Appreciation Banquet held April 28 at the Armstrong Community Club on Vogelweh housing.

“I really enjoy volunteering for youth sports because children really need a good role model,” said Mrs. Begeman, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Radiology Department data technician. “You can teach them that helping others is important, and they are going to be more willing to go out and help others and show other children that it’s okay to volunteer.”

The Omaha, Neb., native volunteered more than 1,260 hours at various KMC organizations. Out of that number, she donated 792 hours coaching, mentoring and teaching today’s youth at Ramstein and LRMC.

She transported 440 patients and their family members staying at the LRMC Fisher House for more than 60 day-to-day errands throughout the KMC. She coordinated children visits to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Soldiers staying at the hospital. She served as the vice president of the Landstuhl Elementary and Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association.

She spearheaded 17 school activities. She conducted fund-raising activities for Department of Defense Dependent Schools and LRMC. She conducted choir practices during Sunday school.

“She volunteered for almost everything … no limits and far reaching,” said Catherine L. Locke, 415th BSB Army volunteer corps coordinator. “Her tireless efforts contributed to the success of many programs in the KMC.”

Mrs. Locke said Mrs. Begeman was picked by a 13-member selection committee based on the extensive depth of her volunteering endeavors and her continuous support of the KMC.

“Most people think they have to volunteer for the big things,” said Mrs. Begeman, mother of three sons. “I do a lot, but I do a lot of little things that make the difference.”

Little things could be baking goods for a PTSA or hospital function or for the gate guards, tutoring students or being a member of the Landstuhl ball or social committee.

She has been married for 18 years to Tech. Sgt. Ray Begeman, Air Forces Europe network operations NCO in charge. They have three sons: Francisco L., 19, who will be going to South Dakota State in the fall; Mathew P., 15, Ramstein American High School ninth-grader; and Dakota J., 8, LEMS second-grader.

“Now that my eldest son has left for college, I have more time to volunteer,” said Mrs. Begeman. “I’m hoping to span out more this summer with helping children because it makes them happy.”