Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal awarded to 388 FW Airman

  • Published
  • By Todd Cromar
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The 388th Fighter Wing recognized one of its own recently for organizing a donation drive to deliver food and household items to an Ogden homeless shelter.

Staff Sgt. Alyssa Ebben, a weapons loader in the 34th Fighter Generation Squadron, was presented with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for volunteering 600 community service hours in support of the Lantern House in Ogden earlier this year.

In her decision to do a community service project, Ebben said she has always been encouraged by her Air Force leadership and most recently her flight chief to search out and participate in volunteer opportunities.

“I talked to our first sergeant at the time about my idea to donate to a prison or women’s shelter, but then he identified a need at the shelter in Ogden,” she said.

“I contacted the Lantern House and they were happy to work with me, identifying needed items for individuals and family’s using the homeless shelter.”

The Lantern House is Utah’s largest homeless shelter, and operates year round to providing food, shelter and emergency services to area’s less fortunate.

Ebben set out to coordinate a six-week donation drive from January to March, gathering items from members of her wing and other mission partners across the base.

With the help of some military spouses, she collected and organized the items in her squadron’s break room, and a big box to the Lantern House every Friday throughout the drive.

“The timing worked out great,” Ebben said. “It gave military families an opportunity to do some spring cleaning while de-cluttering their homes by donating lightly used and many new items for the benefit of those using the shelter.”

In total, Ebben estimated she was able to collect several thousand dollars’ worth of donated food, clothes, books and other items.

Ebben’s leadership said they are proud of her efforts.

“Staff Sgt. Ebben has been volunteering a large amount of her off-duty personal time towards directly helping those in the local area who are in need,” said Master Sgt. James Miller, 34th Fighter Squadron section chief. “She exemplifies what it means to be an Airman in the Air Force by continually looking for opportunities to give back and help others, while demonstrating that Airmen at Hill AFB care about our community.”