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Pendleton volunteers recognized for their dedication

Hundreds of Camp Pendleton’s volunteers were recognized, for their outstanding service to the base and surrounding community, during a special ceremony at the South Mesa Club, April 23.

Marine Corps Order 1754.9 mandates Marine Corps installations around the world to establish a Volunteer Recognition Program, and for the 11th year, Camp Pendleton commemorated base volunteers with its annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, themed “Celebrating People in Action.”

“We have a pretty extensive recognition program here on base,” said Col. Nicholas F. Marano, commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “We do our best to encourage the spirit of volunteerism.”

There are currently 4,488 volunteers registered with the base’s Volunteer Program, said Yolanda A. Manning, volunteer program coordinator, Marine and Family Services, MCB Camp Pendleton. They donate their time to more than 90 organizations, both on and off base.

Of the thousands of base volunteers, nearly 500 were able to attend the ceremony and receive Certificates of Appreciation and Presidential Volunteer Service Awards.

Not only were individual volunteers recognized, but units with the most volunteer support were also acknowledged; in fact, 70 units base-wide reported utilizing volunteers in the past year.

The Volunteer of the Year category received 31 individual and unit nominations, but the esteemed award went to only one winner for each of four categories.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recipients are: Cpl. Clinton Murray, Active-Duty Volunteer of the Year; Brian Platzer, Civilian Volunteer of the Year; Combat Logistics Regiment 1, Small Unit of the Year (149 volunteers or less); Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCB Camp Pendleton, Large Unit of the Year.

One recipient explained how easy it was to donate his time.

“I saw an opportunity in the community here to make a difference,” said Murray, electro-optical ordinance repairer, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “Once I started volunteering, it just got addicting.”

For more information for volunteering at Camp Pendleton, call the base’s volunteer office at (760) 725-3856.

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