Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. -- Volunteers, active duty, retired, and civilians aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma were recognized for the hours and effort they contributed to MCAS Yuma over 2012 at the 12th annual Volunteer Appreciation Night held on station May 2.
The event recognized approximately 184 individuals that provided services for commands, the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS), which supports youth sports, Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills program (LINKS), the Single Marine Program (SMP), and Chapel at MCAS Yuma.
An invitation only event, it was attended by MCAS Yuma station Commander Col. Robert C. Kuckuk, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One Commanding Officer Col. Bradford J. Gering, Marine Aircraft Group 13 Commanding Officer Col. Michael Gough and the commanding officers from many of MCAS Yuma’s Harrier and F-35 squadrons.
“Volunteers are recognized for their wonderful service and that they donate their time to assist other Marines and families,” said Margy Pracchia MCAS Yuma’s Relocation Assistance Program Manager and the event coordinator and a native of Ridgecrest, Calif.
All volunteers were recognized during the event, receiving a certificate signed by station commander Col. Kuckuk for their volunteer services with military members and their families aboard MCAS Yuma.
“Without volunteers we would have problems,” said Pracchia. “It saves money because when they volunteer it averages out to be around 13 dollars an hour and it’s a savings for the government. They [the government] don’t have to pay a government worker or have a military person be taken away from their job to do what the volunteer does.”
Volunteers help the MCAS Yuma community to run efficiently by providing services that run programs such as the youth programs, which is a part of MCCS.
“It definitely takes up your time but working with kids is worth it and without the volunteer coaches they wouldn’t have coaches,” said Michael J. Monroe, an MCCS youth coach volunteer and a native of Monterrey, Calif. “Even if they are a handful I like working with kids, they’re funny and I like teaching them and seeing them get better and have fun.”
Volunteers like Monroe are able to keep programs like youth sports running and provide a service that all of MCAS Yuma can use.
Volunteering takes away from your personal life and your priorities shift and change as your schedule does but it is well worth the effort as one Marine explains.
“I’ve always been a volunteer and I like helping others,” said Lance Cpl. Diana Huizar, a Marine from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, a Yuma bike club member, church volunteer and a native of Temecula, Calif. “Volunteering sets an example for other Marines and anyone else. It makes you happy and feel good inside that you’re not just thinking about yourself.”
Overall volunteering helps individuals provide a service to the community and to families. It’s worthwhile to make a difference and it looks good resumes. As a final point, volunteering here at MCAS Yuma means you are assisting and helping Marines, sailors and their families.