MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Leaders within II Marine Expeditionary Force honored their volunteers during ceremony held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 27.
The event was hosted in honor of National Volunteer Month, and served to recognize service members, civilians and spouses for their efforts in helping the local community.
“Today was an opportunity to say ‘thank you,’ ‘job well done’ and ‘let’s keep doing more of this’ and enhance even more the spirit of volunteerism,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division.
Additionally to the numerous Marines, family members and civilians honored at the ceremonies, Sgt. Krishn Prasad, a main battle tank repairer with Alpha Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, received a certificate of appreciation for 250 hours of volunteer service.
“The motivation to volunteer as much as I have in my life is to leave this world better than when I arrived,” Prasad said. “[I want] to help others in need and to inspire others to be more self-aware and not be afraid to go out of their way to volunteer.”
Prior to joining the Marine Corps, Prasad was a carpenter. He takes that skill to help build and fix houses.
“I try to use my weekends wisely and make time [to volunteer]. Even though I’m tired, I just wake up early, go out and do something,” Prasad said. “You have 24 hours in a day; You can allocate those minutes to do what you have to do, but then also get some extra work done. Give back to your community. Do the best you can everyday to help somebody.”
Thirty volunteers in II MEF were eligible for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. The PVSA is given based on age and the amount of hours a citizen has served. For young adults ages 16-25, to qualify for bronze a citizen have to serve 100-174 hours. For silver they have to serve 175-249 hours. A citizen has to serve over 250 hours for gold. Five volunteers from II MEF were eligible for the gold level, nine for the silver and 16 for the bronze.
“[Volunteering] is not just important to the Marine Corps, it’s important to the nation,” said Beaudreault. “It’s completely consistent with our ethos as Marines that we are selfless servants to the nation. This is just another example of how we incorporate our families as part of that selfless service.”
To any Marine who would like to start volunteering, Beaudreault said, “It’s never too late.”