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Volunteers recognized for tireless efforts

Marlene Haffield (left) and Shirley Osborne (right) of Family Services present a check representing the total dollar amount of wages and revenue saved by the time invested from local volunteers to 45th Space Wing Vice Commander Col. Stephen Butler April 23. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lisa Luse)

Marlene Haffield (left) and Shirley Osborne (right) of Family Services present a check representing the total dollar amount of wages and revenue saved by the time invested from local volunteers to 45th Space Wing Vice Commander Col. Stephen Butler April 23. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lisa Luse)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Volunteers on Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station contributed approximately 77,666 hours in 2008.

At an ice cream social at the Airman & Family Readiness Center April 23, the volunteers presented a large check in the amount of $1,569,629.86, representing the amount in wages and benefits the 45th Space Wing saved, according to Vice Commander Col. Stephen Butler.

Three individuals also received the Volunteer Excellence Award this year. Honored with this high achievement were Reserve Lt. Col. (ret.) Gerald Meyer, Peter Koch of Project Emeritus and Darleena Jones from the 45th Force Support Squadron.

The VEA is a special program in which the Air Force recognizes individuals for lifetime service to the well-being of the Air Force and the community.

This award can only be received once in a person's lifetime of volunteer service. Each award certificate was signed by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, acknowledging their awards for Exceptional Meritorious Volunteer Service to the United States Air Force community.

Mr. Meyer has served more than 43,000 customers in more than nine years of support at Family Services. He is also a dependable volunteer for the Daily Bread, Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross and the Melbourne Police Department.

Mr. Koch provided valuable man-hours and cost accounting to Project Emeritus and the 45th Mission Support Group.

Mr. Koch also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Space Coast Feline Network and numerous other organizations.

Ms. Jones provided 400- plus hours of support to the Florida Chapter of the Home of the Brave Quilt Project and numerous other base activities.

In addition, she recruited 48 volunteers for quilt operations; efforts that helped production while providing time to remember our warriors.

"These volunteers have set the standard and have set it high," said Col. Butler, who presented the awards.

"The dollar amount of the check shows the benefits associated and is highly valued to the 45th Space Wing. We are forever grateful to them and their service."