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'Still Serving:' Volunteer motto pay$ off

Col. Stephen Butler, 45th Space Wing vice commander, accepts a “check” in the amount of $621,107 from Mary Rike, left, and Tamara Johnson at the Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social at the Airman and Family Readiness Center May 1. The check represents the amount of money volunteers save the Wing each year. “When you see the actual ‘number’ of how much our volunteers contribute, you really have to step back and reflect on how very lucky we are,” said Colonel Butler. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Laviska)

Col. Stephen Butler, 45th Space Wing vice commander, accepts a “check” in the amount of $621,107 from Mary Rike, left, and Tamara Johnson at the Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social at the Airman and Family Readiness Center May 1. The check represents the amount of money volunteers save the Wing each year. “When you see the actual ‘number’ of how much our volunteers contribute, you really have to step back and reflect on how very lucky we are,” said Colonel Butler. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Laviska)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Retired Air Force Chief Harold J. McAnulty - known as "Jerry" to his friends - doesn't think his reasons for volunteering are any different than the hundreds of volunteers who greatly enhance the quality of life in and around the 45th Space Wing.

"I do it because I am still serving our country," said Mr. McAnulty, "and that's the exact same reason we all do it. It absolutely is. I'm no better than anyone else," said the current Project Emeritus director.

Well, better or not, he was chosen May 1 as the recipient of the 45th Space Wing's Volunteer Excellence Award during an Ice Cream Social held at the Airman and Family Readiness Center in conjunction with National Volunteer Week, which ended Saturday.

"I've gotten to know Jerry and I can tell you right now that he epitomizes service before self," said Col. Stephen Butler, vice commander, 45th Space Wing. "You (volunteers) all do... and it's certainly my privilege to be in the same room with people like you," he said.

"You all give back to our Wing in ways you can't even imagine. I've said it many, many times and it's so very true - we couldn't do the mission without you," Colonel Butler said.

Mr. McAnulty, who served more than 28 years on the active duty rolls, and another 14 as an Air Force civilian, "I'm a retired guy ..twice," he said with a smile, doesn't limit his giving to the Wing.

In addition to his Project Emeritus work, which he's been involved in since 1996, he has also volunteered for six years as building manager for the daily Bread Soup Kitchen, where more than 150 clients were served daily, while preserving the respect and dignity of those in need.

And in his "free time," he has supported the "Meals on Wheels" program delivering meals weekly to 10 homebound residents and assisted 30 cancer patients to chemotherapy and radiation appointments.

His certificate, presented by Colonel Butler, was signed by Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff.

"I've been blessed; I know that," Mr McAnulty said. "The Air Force has been very, very good to me and my family. Giving something back is the very least I can do."

Prior to Mr. McAnulty being presented with his award, volunteers Mary Rike and Tamara Johnson presented Col. Butler with a life-sized check made out to the Wing. The check was made out for a whopping $621,107, which is an estimate of how much volunteers contribute in "real money" to the command.

"When you see the actual 'number' of how much our volunteers contribute around here, you have to really step back and reflect on how very lucky we are," said Col. Butler. "I take my hat off to each and every one of them."