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Meet JBLM's Tish Mesngon

Teamwork makes volunteer’s job easier

Scott Hansen/JBLM PAO FRG volunteer Tish Mesngon, right, and Judelka Jones organize Easter baskets for family members with Madigan Army Medical Center’s Bravo Company.

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When Tish Mesngon talks about the varied roles throughout her life as an Army spouse, a mother of four, a family readiness group leader, a former science teacher and the eldest of seven siblings, a theme emerges of a concept she lives by: teamwork.

Named Joint Base Lewis-McChord's March Volunteer of the Month for her work as the FRG leader of Madigan Army Medical Center's Bravo Company, Mesngon said she enjoys the role but couldn't do it without the help of her husband, her children and the FRG leaders of Madigan's Alpha Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

"I'm successful because of the people that support me," she said. "That makes my job easier."

In the volunteer role she's held since November 2011, Mesngon circulates critical unit information to about 200 B Co. Soldiers and Family members, and organizes entertainment and fundraisers, including a recent pasta bingo event that raised $1,100 for a unit outing off the installation later this year.

"Tish has made enormous contributions to all of Madigan; she doesn't just limit her activities to her company," said Madigan Troop Command Commander Lt. Col. Ralph Deatherage. "She has played a major role in every single activity that we have had, either as a volunteer or as a planner or in most cases, both. I'm personally honored that she's part of our team."

Mesngon joined the FRG soon after she and her husband, Maj. Mariano Mesngon, arrived at JBLM 18 months ago from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Throughout her husband's military career, she's always believed in the benefits of an FRG.

"I like being a part of the FRG because I want to know what's going on," she said. "This is one way for me to meet people, but also to make sure I'm informed. I've always enjoyed being a part of an FRG."

Mesngon's two older children, who are 12 and 14, also lend a hand during FRG functions and have food handler's certifications to prove it. They learn the value of serving others and can count their time as volunteer hours for school, so they're happy to help, Mesngon said.

In addition to her FRG duties, Mesngon has served as a volunteer at her church and with Santa's Castle, a JBLM organization that assists active duty military families in need during the Christmas season.

Mesngon gives credit to her husband for helping her develop her skills in organization and coordination, sometimes asking herself how he would approach the tasks she encounters as an FRG leader. And he admires her service to the FRG.

"He's very appreciative," she said. "We support each other. We're each other's biggest fans."

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