MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - -- Deanna L. Storer, the former key volunteer coordinator for 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division was awarded the Order of St. Joan D’Arc Medallion June 9 for significant voluntary contributions to the morale, spirit and welfare of the Armor and Calvary communities from Jan. 9, 2003 to June 10, 2005.
“The military life is a unique one. The KV program helps spouses to know what goes on in their Marine’s world. It’s geared towards taking care of your own unit on an intimate level,” said Storer.
Second Lieutenant Thomas R. Mackesy, the adjutant for 2nd Tank Battalion, has been the battalion family readiness officer for 14 months now. His job is to assist family members of Marines and Sailors in matters ranging from marital counseling to settling financial issues.
“Though the battalion hotline and website are great outlets for getting the word out, the KV program is essential. Volunteers are given a list of roughly 10 or more spouses to contact. Through them, the spouses receive weekly updates on important information such as social functions and upcoming events within the unit,” said Mackesy.
While on deployment, it is extremely important for the Marines to know that their wife or husband is being well taken care of in their absence.
“The KV program is in place so that Marines can do their job and come back. They need to focus on the mission at hand and not have to worry about who is looking after their family back in the rear,” said Storer.
Storer first became involved in the KV program back in 1997 when her husband was assigned to 2nd Tank Battalion.
“I guess I’m the kind of person who always likes to stay informed as to what’s going on within the unit. Even when we were stationed in Quantico, Va., and there was no KV program, everyone always knew who to call for information,” said Storer.
After returning here in early 2003, Storer became the KV coordinator in June of that same year. She also began to volunteer her time as a teacher within the Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills Program.
“The L.I.N.K.S. program isn’t bound by any units. It’s a series of learning sessions that teaches spouses about things that either the Marine himself doesn’t understand or, for whatever reason, doesn’t tell his spouse. Spouses can better support their Marines if they understand what they do and where they are coming from,” said Storer.
Though the KV and the L.I.N.K.S. programs may be operated and run by volunteers, that by no means makes it any less of a job.
“It’s really a full-time, part-time job. In a regular week, I usually spent about 10 to 15 hours with the KV program and about 25 to 30 hours with the L.I.N.K.S. program. It’s easy to pour your heart out into these programs when the work is such a pleasure,” said Storer.
Storer is now off to Boise, Id. where her husband has been assigned to 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, a reserve unit. Though she may be leaving here for the second time now, her contributions to the community will not be forgotten.
“She was always on the cutting edge with fresh, new ideas. Her departure will surely leave a void that will be difficult to replace,” said Mackesy.