COMMUNITY BUILDER: Longtime Fort Jackson employee honored for decades of civil service
FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) - There are the types of people who volunteer in their free time, and then there are the kinds of people who make a living out of civil service.
Silvia Butler is the latter.
She spent 40 years at Fort Jackson, working in a number of capacities. As a child, she lived around the world because her father served in the Army. As an adult, she knew Fort Jackson was the only place she truly wanted to be and took her spot at the helm of the transportation operation decades ago.
“One of the things that I enjoyed the most, was for 21 years I was the installation exodus officer,” Silvia said. “The soldiers when they got home from their Christmas vacation, I coordinated that effort. We moved anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 soldiers out of here in about 20 hours, so it was a pretty big undertaking and it was just really great.”
On the day we met her, she was volunteering for the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Golf Tournament at Fort Jackson. She’s been volunteering with the organization since 1992.
“I just liked working here, I liked being around the military,” Silvia said. “I still like being around the military.”
She spends her “retirement” volunteering with the organization. It’s pretty easy to see why her fellow volunteer and friend, Bob Pulliam, thought she would make a great community builder honoree.
“She’s a phenomenal person,” Pulliam said. “I’ve known Silvia for over 30 years working for AUSA and she’s phenomenal.”
WIS and Mungo Homes surprised Silvia with the Community Builder award at the beginning of the tournament. With the honor, she receives $1,000 to go to the charity of her choice. She told us it will go right back to AUSA and supporting soldiers in any capacity the organization sees fit.
“Everybody loves her,” Pulliam said. “If you’re on Fort Jackson, everyone knows Silvia. She is a hero.”
But, to Silvia, it’s not about the awards. She’s won numerous. In 2015, she was inducted into the Fort Jackson Hall of Fame. It’s just not about that, she said. The “why” behind her continuing civil service comes down to this.
“The Army is like a family. You become a part of a family,” Silvia said. “And even though it changes all the time, there’s always new people coming in, there’s still – it doesn’t seem to matter – there’s still that family and you feel like you’re a part of it.”
If you’d like to nominate someone making a difference in the community, just head to wistv.com/builder.
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