Nellis 'Volunteer of the Year' selected

  • Published
  • By Lila Edwards
  • Nellis Public Affairs
As far as volunteers go ... she is the best of the best. 

Maj. Denise Hamilton, 57th Adversary Tactics Group assistant director of operations for training, was selected as the Nellis Volunteer of the Year. She received the award based on her outstanding contributions to the 99th Air Base Wing's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program as a victim advocate. 

"She is steadfast in her devotion to help others and promote risk reduction," said Kristina Heick, program assistant for the SAPR. "She is a vital asset to the program." 

"Despite her deployments with the 57th ATG, she returns each time and continues to volunteer her time with a passion. This past year, she gave 458 hours of her time to the program." 

As an integral part of the program, Major Hamilton coordinated efforts for personal safety risk reduction discussion at the Nellis youth program's Smart Girls class. She also arranged for rape crisis center outreach program advocates to talk about female victimization with teens. 

"She tackled the 30-hour rape aggression defense instructor training by rallying 5 instructors to set up a program here at Nellis," said Ms. Heick. 

"She launched the RAD course into full swing and coordinated instructors for a monthly schedule. Then she led the first class of female Airmen, civilians and spouses through the program." 

According to Ms. Heick, Major Hamilton also taught the post-traumatic stress disorder section of the advocacy course, and motivated other victim advocate candidates through role-playing based on their own experiences and those of victims. 

"Major Hamilton worked more than 400 after-duty hours on phone coverage supporting victims needs, including holiday periods which are a critical time for victims," said Ms. Heick. "She managed to find time to fill short-notice after-hours support to make sure we had full coverage for the SAPR progam." 

Her compassion and support for assault victims going through the medical process after an assault were outstanding, ensuring the victims received the support and resources they needed, said Ms. Heick. 

"She also volunteered to share risk reduction tips, tools and contact information to our deploying troops so our Nellis Airmen are prepared if they should become victims away from home." 

Major Hamilton's efforts were key to the Nellis SAPR program receiving the Air Combat Command's Commander-in-Chief Installation Excellence Award special recognition category, said Ms. Heick. 

"Denise is a shining example of the Air Force core value -- service before self. She is truly deserving of this award, and we are proud to have her as part of our team."