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NEWS | July 12, 2017

Virginia Guard honors volunteers at Volunteer Recognition Workshop

By Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Virginia National Guard senior leaders recognized volunteers from around the state for their contributions in supporting the Virginia National Guard at the 9th Annual State Volunteer Training and Recognition Workshop and Youth Symposium June 24, 2017, in Richmond, Virginia.

The event aimed to recognize and thank the volunteers, many of them military family members, for their service and support of family readiness groups, youth camps and various other programs over the past year.

“Recognizing our family of volunteers is important because it affirms the commitment the Adjutant General has for ensuring everyone in the organization is recognized for their efforts,” explained Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Director of the Joint Staff for the Virginia National Guard. Griffin presented awards to the volunteers and thanked them for their dedicated service to the Virginia National Guard.

During the event, volunteers also attended training sessions focused on promoting communication, managing stress, reintegration, tools for health care, employment opportunities and information on transitioning into the civilian work force. Volunteers also participated in open discussions in order to brainstorm solutions to common issues faced by family members and their Soldiers. Several organizations were also in attendance to provide additional information to the volunteers on the many resources available for Virginia National Guard families.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the Commonwealth, you are in the Guard family,” said Col. K. Weedon Gallagher, commander of the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group.

Virginia National Guard volunteers take on a variety of roles in supporting their commander’s readiness program. They serve as Family Readiness Group leaders and co-leaders, as phone tree callers, treasurers and newsletter editors for the FRG.

Regardless of the role, all volunteers support the ability of their commanders to disseminate pertinent and relevant family information to the families of Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen. Additionally, they provide referrals to resources when needed as well as support to Soldiers and Airmen and their families when needed.

“The many efforts of these volunteers is phenomenal.  They have placed Soldiers, Airmen and their families at the forefront ahead of their own needs,” Griffin said. “I am so proud of them.”

Adult and youth volunteers also provided support to events hosted by the Virginia National Guard Youth Program, including Youth Camp, for kids ages 8 to 12, Back to School Bashes, community service projects and teen panel trainings and events.

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