VOLUNTEER1.jpgChaplain (Maj.) Neal Durham, his wife, and daughter entertain guests at the annual Religious Support Office Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club Oct. 16 (Photo Credit: Thomas Byrd)

By Tom Byrd                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fort Jackson Public Affairs 

Sacrifice is something every service member understands. The deployments, training and other job responsibilities often take them away from loved ones. Many people find comfort in their faith during these times of separation. At Fort Jackson, volunteers help ensure trainees and Soldiers are able to celebrate their religion and become part of a larger community.

The installation’s Religious Support Office came together at the NCO Club, Oct. 16 to show their appreciation for some of these “unsung heroes.”

Fort Jackson Command Chaplain, Chaplain (Col.) Jimmy Nichols said, “It takes a person with a special heart to be able to take time, non-compensated time, to be a blessing to others.”

Fort Jackson receives trainees from all over the world. The chaplains and their staff help ease some of the stress of being away from home by providing a large number of religious services. Many of these services wouldn’t happen without the dedication of many volunteers.

The Fort Jackson Religious Support office relies on volunteers to assist the various religious services each week.

This year RSO recognized 11 volunteers at a small, socially distanced ceremony and luncheon. The awardees were:

Retired Sgt. Maj. Boris Bolanos, Hispanic Protestant service.

Tim and Karen Risher, Latter Day Saints service.

Lenzy and Laura Morris, Main Post Chapel Protestant service.

Keith and Barbara Ball, Church of Christ service.

Jennifer Jackson, Daniel Circle Chapel.

Gabriel and Hershel Holmes, Catholic service.

Also recognized for their work as Distinctive Religious Group Leaders were:

Ruben Vargas, Hispanic Protestant service at Magruder Chapel.

Robert C. Woodrow, Latter Day Saints chapel service at Magruder Chapel.

Retired Maj. Gen. Jeffrey A. Jacobs for facilitating ministry to the Jewish community.

William Rust for leading services for the Pagan community.

Perry Kocher for leading services for the Church of Christ community.