A Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier from Warrens has been recognized for his tireless volunteer support in his community.
Sgt. 1st Class John Battista, a member of the Wisconsin National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, received the Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal Nov. 6 in a surprise ceremony at Stevens Point.
“I believe that as a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, we not only have a responsibility to the soldiers we lead, but also to the community in which we serve,” said Battista.
The Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal is a service award in the General Service Medal category and ranks just below the Humanitarian Service Medal in order of precedence. The award recognizes substantial volunteer service – considered beyond the call of duty – in the local community.
Battista is very active with his church, Bible Free Evangelical Church in Tomah, where his wife Krishna is also the director of children’s ministry. He has partnered with other church leaders to start a care ministry, which meets a wide range of needs. The ministry can mobilize teams of volunteers to respond quickly to reports of food or cash shortages, people in need of resettlement assistance, and other needs.
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He also organized a team of volunteers to teach hunter safety education classes at the church to over 100 students and developed a ministry in his church to involve young people, mainly those whose fathers were not. involved, through outdoor activities with an organized team of positive male role models.
Additionally, he served as a volunteer assistant for his church’s first grade kindergarten and Sunday school program until another volunteer could be installed.
Battista recently volunteered as a senior counselor in a cabin at the Kentucky Mountain Mission’s Sunshine Camp, a Christian camp for adults with special needs. According to his award nomination, he “won over campers and other counselors” with his “positive and energetic compassion” and helped his cabin win various camp competitions.
“My faith in Christ, my family and the soldiers I support have been the focal point of my life for many years,” said Battista, explaining that his personal and professional life is based on servant leadership. He described servant leadership as being focused on the growth and well-being of individuals and their communities, putting the needs of others first, and helping others to develop and function to the best of their ability.
Battista also volunteers with Family Promise of Monroe County, providing hospitality to homeless families and regularly transporting people and beds for the program, and he serves as a volunteer paramedic / firefighter at Camp Douglas.
Battista has also dedicated countless hours connecting soldiers in crisis with services to meet their immediate and long-term needs. He raised over $ 3,000 for the Wisconsin National Guard NCO clubs by volunteering to park cars for the Marshfield Clinic.
Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremy Duffy, commanding officer of Battista, described him as “an exemplary officer (non-commissioned officer) who always sets an example”.
“He not only excels in his duties as a retention non-commissioned officer for the 108th Forward Support Company, but he regularly seeks opportunities to give back to his community in his spare time,” Duffy continued. “His actions and volunteer work inspire those around him to be and do better. It is an absolute honor to know and work with such a fine example of a selfless NCO.
Battista said he was surprised to receive the award and considers it an honor and a privilege to serve his community with the men and women of the Wisconsin National Guard.
“Without the support of my chain of command and my family, I would not have been able to participate in these organizations,” Battista said. “I am very honored to receive this award.