By Sgt. First Class Lisa M. Litchfield
U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)
A quiet Wednesday at work had the best sort of interruption as Shelby Rangel, Center Director for the Ft. Bragg United Service Organizations (USO), received her credentials to enter the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) building. Rangel was there to present a gift bag full of donated goodies to a deserving female servicemember in honor of Women’s History month.
Elsewhere in the building, Ms. Kristen Bell, HR specialist for the 1st Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Training Brigade, was almost giddy as she gathered coworkers and colleagues together to celebrate the successful nomination and win by one of their own.
When Bell saw the announcement to nominate a fellow female servicemember to be highlighted by the Fort Bragg USO, she didn’t hesitate to choose Sgt. Teresa Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Bell work together in the personnel section of 1st TB, with Gonzales serving as the current noncommissioned officer in charge.
“I had sent it (the call for nominations) through 1st TB but unbeknownst to Sgt. Gonzalez, I put a little something in (for her),” Bell explained. “I’m not a very good writer but … Sgt. Gonzalez works at a brigade level. She is a sergeant E5 and sometimes a lot of people that we work with only see her rank. She is a very smart and she is a very competent person. They forget that they should provide respect to the position, not just the rank, and she handles herself very well; she goes above and beyond her position and her pay grade.”
“I just thought she deserved a little something” Bell concluded.
“Above and beyond the call of duty,” was how Rangel phrased it as she presented Gonzalez a bag of goodies and thanked her for her positive contribution to the Army, celebrating with her as one of 30 female servicemembers chosen across Ft. Bragg to be honored.
As for Sgt. Gonzalez? As a Soldier who is used to coming in every day and just doing her best for the Soldiers in her command, she seemed a little overwhelmed to be the center of attention, and her quiet manner and humility made the presentation seem that much more poignant to the attendees.
“I really wasn’t expecting this,” said Gonzalez. “This is awesome and I do really appreciate this. It’s the little things that mean a lot. Thank you.”