Story and photos by Eric E. Parris

Fort Carson Public Affairs Office

FORT CARSON, Colo. – Gloria Harlan, a volunteer with the Fort Carson Religious Support Office, receives the Exemplary Volunteer Service Award from Maj. Gen. David M. Hodne, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, during the Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony on May 18, 2022, at the Elkhorn Conference Center. Shelley Hodne, center, attended the awards presentation. (Photo by Eric E. Parris)

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Community leaders and members gathered to honor volunteers for their service and commitment during the annual 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson Volunteer Awards Recognition Ceremony May 18, 2022, at Center of Elkhorn conference.

Twenty-seven volunteers were recognized for their service to Fort Carson and local communities.

“Volunteers exist everywhere in our community,” said Maj. Gen. David M. Hodne, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson. “Our volunteers here today are inspiring. They roll up their sleeves every day to keep our community and our military ready. Our volunteers are committed to making the community of tomorrow a better place.

Volunteer service has helped make Fort Carson the “best hometown in the military,” Hodne said. And they continue to improve the quality of life on the Mountain Post.

The volunteers, who are soldiers, spouses, family members and civilians, were awarded the Military Medal for Outstanding Volunteer Service, Volunteer Group of the Year, Exemplary Volunteer Service Award, Young Volunteer of of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year Award.

The ceremony was an opportunity to honor their service.

“We wanted to recognize the service, commitment and dedication of Fort Carson volunteers,” said Celsa Day, Fort Carson Army Volunteer Corps program manager. “It is important to highlight the service provided by our volunteers.

FORT CARSON, Colo. – Deanna Tuley, an American Red Cross volunteer at Evans Army Community Hospital, and Penny, a golden retriever therapy dog, receive the Exemplary Volunteer Service Award from Major- Gen. David M. Hodne, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, during the annual volunteer awards ceremony May 18, 2022, at the Elkhorn Conference Center.  Commanding Sgt.  Maj. Adam S. Nash, command sergeant major, 4th Inf.  Div.  and Fort Carson, far left and Shelley Hodne, far right, attended the awards presentation.  (Photo by Eric E. Parris)

FORT CARSON, Colo. – Deanna Tuley, an American Red Cross volunteer at Evans Army Community Hospital, and Penny, a golden retriever therapy dog, receive the Exemplary Volunteer Service Award from Major- Gen. David M. Hodne, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, during the annual volunteer awards ceremony May 18, 2022, at the Elkhorn Conference Center. Commanding Sgt. Maj. Adam S. Nash, command sergeant major, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, far left and Shelley Hodne, far right, attended the awards presentation. (Photo by Eric E. Parris)

In 2021, volunteers contributed 40,000 hours of service, saving Fort Carson more than $1.1 million in labor and other cost-related areas.

Fort Carson currently has over 6,000 registered volunteers.

Volunteers serve in stationed organizations such as the American Red Cross, Soldier and Family Readiness Groups, Fort Carson Thrift Store, and Services for Young Children. In the local community, they serve with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Care and Share Food Bank, Silver Key Senior Services, Humane Society, and other nonprofit organizations.

Deanna Tuley, who volunteers with the American Red Cross at Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH), received an Exemplary Volunteer Service Award (EVSA). She dedicates her time to supporting staff and patients with her companion, Penny, a golden retriever therapy dog.

Tuley has volunteered over 300 hours in 2021 and has volunteered with the Red Cross since 2009. Penny has volunteered with Tuley since 2019.

As a volunteer, Tuley saw how much of a difference she and Penny made.

“It makes a difference with the dog and the people with the smiles you see on their faces,” Tuley said. “They all know Penny.”

Giving of yourself with other volunteers also has its rewards.

sergeant. Ashley Wagner, radiology technologist at EACH, has volunteered with the RFA at EACH. She received the EVSA for her service.

Wagner said she enjoys being around other volunteers.

“They’re usually happy people,” she said.

As a volunteer, she has a simple philosophy.

“Leave it better than you found it, and volunteering is one of the easiest ways to do that,” Wagner said.

Volunteers give of themselves to make their community a better place.

“It’s important to recognize these volunteers, because they don’t do it for the recognition,” Day said. “They really feel it’s important to pay the community to do their part within the community.”

And their efforts can inspire and motivate others.

“All of the volunteers recognized today are invaluable to our community,” Hodne said. “Their daily heroic efforts are inspiring and should motivate us all.”