Volunteers receive surprise visit from garrison commander

by Ignacio “Iggy” Rubalcava
U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder Public Affairs

When a commander wants to talk to a service member, he or she is usually summoned to the commander’s office. So, Pfc. Amanda Reiter was a little apprehensive when she received the news that the garrison commander and sergeant major were on their way to talk to her. Reiter had just been promoted, so a visit from the commander was probably making her nervous.

Reiter was actually one of four community volunteers who Lt. Col. Mike Sullivan, U.S. Army Garrison commander, visited unexpectedly April 24 to thank and recognize for their support. Accompanying Sullivan was volunteer coordinator Basil Forrest.

“April 21 through 27 is Volunteer Appreciation Week, and we wanted to show volunteers on the installation how much we appreciate the work that they do,” Forrest said.

Reiter volunteers her time to serve as Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers vice president. She has been an integral part of building up the BOSS program for the past six months.

Sullivan also visited Emmanuel Manan, who dedicates his time to volunteering with the 64th Medical Detachment, 421st MMB, as a Family Readiness Group leader. He keeps service members and families updated on community events and events within the company. He volunteers for the units as well as the battalion.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Maute, who is the Red Cross liaison within the Warrior Transition Unit, also received a visit from Sullivan. Maute instructs monthly Red Cross health and safety classes for the community and helps out at many events in which the Red Cross is present.

Dana Burke was also surprised when Sullivan dropped in for an unannounced visit. Burke is actively involved in establishing the care teams for the 16th Sustainment Brigade. She regularly meets with volunteers to plan and organize training for emergency situations.

Sullivan thanked each volunteer for their support and presented each one with a U.S. Army Volunteer Corps coin and a Volunteer Corps pin.

“Volunteers are a valuable element of the Baumholder workforce,” Forrest said. “Their contributions greatly enhance the garrison’s service to Soldiers and civilian family members.”