News: Soldier nominated for outstanding community service
Story by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - She gives hugs freely and punishes when necessary. She has a firm hand, but a soft touch. She knows how to delegate authority, but is always ready to step up and handle any situation. When in need, everyone around knows they can count on Sgt. Phillis White.
Because of what she calls “normal, everyday activities,” White has recently been nominated for an Outstanding Community Service Award for her constant commitment to the students and teachers at Webling Elementary School and her dedication to the soldiers of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
To say that White is a mother of two, would be an understatement, because her love and caring nature extends far beyond her household.
She serves as the unit’s Volunteer Liaison with Webling Elementary School. She has held that duty since August 2011, dedicating at least 14 hours per week to creating reading and physical education programs, and coordinating national-level fundraising and healthy lifestyle campaigns.
White has collectively given more than 1,120 hours of her time to the students and teachers, while also encouraging more than 20 of her fellow Soldiers and unit leadership to join in the school’s partnership program.
“Those kids are very important to me,” said White. “I treat them like they were my own and genuinely care for their health, education and well-being. They take care of me as much as I try to take care of them.”
White is also the retention noncommissioned officer for the 8th STB where she advises the careers of more than 300 soldiers. At any time of day, on duty or off, she makes retention wishes possible by coordinating with local facilities and unit commands. She dedicates her own personal time to make sure soldiers receive everything possible when they decide to stay Army Strong.
“My Army family is my second home,” she continued. “They’ve been there for me through thick and thin. I make it my mission every single day to get at least one Soldier the things they deserve because they are the heroes I work for!”
On top of her career and volunteer hours, White is a single mother of two, Corbin, 14, and Cameron, 10, who still finds time to help each with their studies and sports programs.
“Life is a full time job,” said White. “But I love every second of it and wouldn’t trade any of it for the world! I love my children, my soldiers, and all the kids at the school.”
White’s constant commitment to the students and teachers at Webling Elementary School as well as her dedication to the soldiers in her unit clearly reflects her personality and dedication to her community. Her genuine care for others is transparent in everything she does, and perhaps more importantly, she has embraced the importance of getting others involved in the community.
Whether she knows it or not, she has set the example for her fellow soldiers, and her enthusiasm has fostered an incredibly strong relationship between the 8th TSC and the Webling Elementary School families.
“I never do anything I do for recognition or rewards,” she said. “I do what I do because it’s the right thing, and because I can see where I can help out and make a difference in someone’s life. Watching someone get what they deserve or live a better life because of something small that I could do is reward enough in my book.”