In celebration of national volunteer week, the 82nd Airborne Division recognized more than 350 volunteers during a ceremony at the division chapel, April 25.

82nd Abn. Div. Commander Maj. Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr. and Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles, presented volunteers with certificates of achievement in recognition of the many hours they donated during their time with the All-American Division.

“This is our chance, as the 82nd Family, to say thanks to all of our volunteers inside the division,” Nicholson said.

For many, the ceremony and recognition were unexpected.

“I was really surprised. It’s nice to be recognized and have your work be seen as something that’s valuable,” said C.J. Musson, wife of Sgt. Damon Musson with the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

With more than 800 volunteer hours since she and her husband came to the division, putting time and effort into her unit Family readiness group came naturally to Musson.

“I think of volunteering as a blessing,” Musson said. “As soon as you participate in things around you, you’ll start feeling like part of the community.”

Connecting to the community has also been a big part of the volunteer work for Miller Browder, whose husband, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shannon Browder, serves with the 2nd Aviation Assault Battalion, 82nd CAB. She helped set up the “2-82 Connection,” a forum to where spouses could ask questions, express fears, and share their deployment lessons learned.

“I like connecting to military spouses to help me better connect with my Soldier,” Browder said.