Volunteers honored at 167th Airlift Wing appreciation dinner

  • Published
  • By By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167AW

The 167th Airlift Wing’s Airmen and Family Readiness Program Office hosted a volunteer appreciation dinner in the wing’s dining facility, April 16.

More than 60 volunteers were honored at the superhero-themed event and two volunteers received special awards for their outstanding volunteer service to the Martinsburg, W.Va. air base.

Volunteers, comprised of current unit members, retired members, family members and friends, logged more than 980 hours of service last year. They supported holiday celebrations, blood drives, deployments, exercises and training events.

“A lot of things happen behind the scenes that many Airman may not realize and we couldn’t do those things without your volunteerism,” Sherry Lewis, the 167th Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, said to the honorees at the dinner.

Lewis explained that the 167th AW is unique because it has a Family Readiness Group and a Key Volunteer Program. The FRG can fundraise and support various events at the wing and host family events at the wing. The Key Volunteer Program appoints one volunteer to a group, squadron or flight to assist on drill weekends and serve as a link between the unit and family members.

Jenny Regalia, a Key Volunteer for the 167th Airlift Squadron, was recognized for contributing more than 128 hours of her time at the base.

Regalia assisted with planning a squadron holiday party, reached out to family members of deployed airmen, assisted with squadron training off-site, created a family contact listing for the airlift squadron and supported the Family Readiness Group during base deployment exercises.

The citation for her award stated, in part, that her dedicated and resourceful nature meant she was always willing to take on difficult and demanding event projects.  Additionally, it read, she has an active, outgoing presence allowing her to connect with squadron families, recognize specific concerns and assist by referring those Airmen and families in need to helping agencies.

Phylis Forsythe, a long-time volunteer for the Family Readiness Group was honored for giving more than 30 hours of her time assisting with annual holiday parties, mobility exercises and blood drives.

Her award citation stated that her devoted and resourceful nature meant she was always willing to take on difficult and demanding event projects which included preparation, set-up and tear-down.  She showed initiative and leadership skills, recognizing the need of a specific tasks and then completing the task, sometimes by recruiting assistance to accomplish the job.

Col. David Cochran, 167th AW vice commander, told the volunteers that they, like the Airmen at the wing, embody the Air Force core value of service before self. 

“We appreciate your commitment to our wing,” Cochran said. “Your contributions matter and they help make the wing successful.”

Cochran said you don’t need to be a superhero, referring to the event’s theme, to be a volunteer.

“A small sacrifice of personal time, it doesn’t need to be multiple hours, can make an impact,” he said.

In addition to the volunteers and their family members, numerous state family programs representatives were in attendance.

If you are interested in volunteering as a 167th Airlift Wing Key Volunteer or with the 167th Family Readiness Group, contact Sherry Lewis at 304-616-5590 or sherry.a.lewis2.civ@mail.mil.