Showing appreciation: Volunteers remembered on wall memorial

(Ret.) Technical Sgt. Ebert Bailey places the names plates on the volunteer wall memorial in preparation for the unveiling by the wing commander held Oct. 27.  The memorial is located in the main lobby of the base exchange and in front of the satellite pharmacy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robin DeMark)

(Ret.) Technical Sgt. Ebert Bailey places the names plates on the volunteer wall memorial in preparation for the unveiling by the wing commander held Oct. 27. The memorial is located in the main lobby of the base exchange and in front of the satellite pharmacy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robin DeMark)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Showing pride in community, sharing personal stories and volunteering to help others will help the public better understand the Air Force and the contribution Airmen make to the nation's security every day. Memorials are a way of saying thank you to the men and women of Seymour Johnson for sharing their talents and enthusiasm to inspire a new generation of volunteers.

Colonel Steve Kwast, 4th Fighter Wing commander, unveiled the volunteer wall memorial located at the Base Exchange pharmacy entrance on Oct 27.

The retiree activities office staff started the project to honor retirees and their spouses for continuing to serve their community through many years of volunteerism following their retirement from active-duty service.

"We put up the chalice of servitude and volunteerism," said Col. Kwast. "For me, they became better warriors by continuing to serve others in our community. It's appropriate to have the memorial here where many people will see it everyday. This is truly a wall of honor for their dedication to our base, community and our nation."

Several family members and retirees attended the dedication to honor twelve volunteers whose names were added to the memorial.

"My father, Maj. James Wallace, volunteered for more than nine years after his retirement from this base," said William Wallace, local minister. "Volunteering was a second career for him and he said it was the most important thing he could do to help other retirees."

June Kaylor, who directed the base child care center for 20 years, remembered her husband's dedication to serving the young and old after he served 21 years in aircraft maintenance.

"He loved helping everyone and did anything he could to make their lives better," she said. "He volunteered for the Boy Scouts, the satellite pharmacy and the retiree office as much as he could." 

The wall's centerpiece is the Air Force retiree emblem recognizing those still serving for their country. Name plates are placed on the memorial wall to honor individuals whose names were submitted for permanent recognition for many years of volunteerism on base. 

"It provides a place for families and friends to remember and honor their loved ones who gave their time and energy to serve others so they could have a better life," said (Ret.) Senior Master Sgt. Elmer Bryans, RAO director. 

For information on volunteers listed on the memorial, call the RAO at 722-1119.