Marine Corps Logistics Base ALBANY Ga. --
Two Marine Corps Systems Command civilian-Marines recently have been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Awards for their time and efforts with the Albany Young Marines program. Not strangers to the program, Karen Hartman and Randy Scott each received certificates from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, pins, congratulatory letters from President Barack Obama and letters of appreciation from Michael Kessler, national executive director, Young Marines. Both Hartman and Scott plan and coordinate weekly activities and training for area youth, ages 8-17 years old, that discourage gang involvement and promote healthy and drug-free lifestyles. They also plan events that give children opportunities to earn ribbons, visit places they’ve never been and may never have the opportunity to visit outside of the Young Marines Program.
Karen Hartman, logistics management specialist, MCSC, received her second bronze-level PVSA for volunteering 190 hours from October 2010 to September 2011. Her first award was for 162 hours from October 2009-September 2010. Each level signifies how many hours have been volunteered with the gold level being the highest, according to PVSA’s website, http://www.president ialserviceawards.gov/. “This is the second time I’ve gotten the award and I appreciate it,” Hartman said. The Albany Young Marines battalion adjutant, Hartman put her son, Nick Leggett, now a 17-year-old Lee County High School junior, in the program five years ago, which is when she began volunteering for the organization. “He was getting a little unruly at home and he needed some structure,” Hartman said. “Since I had to bring him out here at 7:30 on Saturday mornings, I would stick around and started volunteering. I became president of the parents group and then I became battalion adjutant. It’s (been) a positive thing for him and for me, so I stuck with it all these years.” His Young Marines training helped Leggett receive the National Life Saving Award in September 2010 for saving another teen’s life in a Charlotte, N.C., hotel swimming pool, Aug. 7, 2010. Hartman keeps a calendar of when she works with the organization and adds up the hours at the end of the year. “It’s all for the kids,” she said, noting the Albany Young Marines program helps parents relate to their children. “This helps them to look for signs of (gang activity, drugs) in their homes. They have to know what’s in the children’s heads these days.” Adults and children in general should volunteer in the community, Hartman added, because it helps make it a better place and broadens their horizons. Co-worker Steve Butt, logistics management specialist, MCSC, described Hartman’s volunteer service as great. “Obviously she’s spent a lot of time doing this volunteer work and it’s very noteworthy,” Butt said. “She makes it a priority in her off time to help out the young people. (She’s) most definitely setting a good example for the folks here, especially MCSC.” “When we see her receive recognition from the president of the United States, that gets your attention, and if the president of the United States recognizes that kind of effort then we certainly should,” Butt added.
Randy Scott, project manager, MCSC, who volunteers alongside Hartman, received his third consecutive award since 2009. As executive officer of the Albany Young Marines, he has worked 350 hours each year consecutively and has volunteered for eight years with the program. A retired master gunnery sergeant, Scott said even though he retired from the Marine Corps in 2001, he was not ready to retire. “After I retired, I had to find something else to do that was military oriented,” Scott said. “I brought my two kids (son, Brandon, now 20, and daughter, Briana, now 17) into (the Young Marines). Since I put them in it, I stayed and worked with the program.” Even though neither of his children is now participating in the program, Scott still volunteers with the Albany Young Marines “because I feel the young kids today need some kind of mentorship that can help (them) to go the right way. I feel my military experience and my leadership skills can help male or female (children) to go the right way (who) do not have the right leadership environment.” Scott feels he’s setting the example for his co-workers by volunteering. “I feel most volunteers have something to give back to a child that can make the child better and make the child more prosperous by giving (him or her) leadership skills, something (the child can) learn and can pass onto others,” Scott said. “I feel that everybody has leadership skills and knowledge kids need today.” Michael Carroll, systems analyst, MCSC, has known Scott for 20 years. “Randy gives every Saturday and you can tell the Young Marines program is something that’s real close to his heart, something he’s passionate about,” Carroll said. “I admire Randy as a mentor, leader (and) father. Randy is eager to help, a great person. He inspires me to be a better father. He brings a discipline to kids that is lacking today. He knows how to focus kids.”