MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- At a secluded gathering at the Wooden Nickel restaurant in the Officers’ Club here, a group of Marines and their spouses gathered May 19 to recognize the hard work of the Key Volunteers during Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division’s last deployment.
The dinner was held to recognize the efforts of the key volunteers to support the families of the unit’s Marines while deployed and included an awards ceremony in which each of the Key Volunteers was given an individual award and a certificate of recognition for their efforts.
Col. Steve Davis, the regimental commanding officer, gave the awards to each of the spouses. With each spouse he noted their individual contribution to the Key Volunteer Network while RCT-2 was deployed.
“Each of these ladies did an outstanding job,” Davis said.
“The mission of the key volunteers is to act as a support network primarily for the wives of deployed spouses,” said Staff Sgt. Derrick C. Williams, the Family Readiness staff noncommissioned officer for 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
“The Key Volunteers are primarily wives; spouses of deployed Marines, for however long that deployment may be,” Williams said. “They volunteer to be leaders for a larger group of spouses that may fall under them. They are the go to people for the majority of the spouses …”
“This dinner is really to recognize the Key Volunteers for all the hard work they did prior to and during the deployment,” said Williams.
The commanding officer selects all the Key Volunteers for a unit’s KV Network and appoints them in writing.
“It’s like a phone tree,” said Williams. “It keeps the spouses informed.”
The Key Volunteers Network is a system of contacts set up in the unit to ensure all the spouses stay informed.
“Whenever a new family comes to the unit, a Key Volunteer is assigned to meet the spouse,” said Cathy Palermo, the Key Volunteer Advisor.
“We try to meet at least once a month,” she said. “We like to keep the spouses informed of what’s going on with the unit. We also try having an event for the kids.”
“These ladies took care of each other … they deserved this,” said Davis.