COLONEL CHARLES H. GALLINA, USMC/RET
ASSISTANT FOR MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
RE: ANNOUNCEMENT OF 2016 KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS VAVS MALE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
DATE: DECEMBER 21, 2016
On behalf of our Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, the Officers, and the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus, we congratulate Mr. Carlos I. Cuellar, KofC VAVS Deputy Representative, VA San Diego Healthcare System (SDVAHCS), San Diego, CA as the 2016 Knights of Columbus Male Volunteer of the Year.
As the KofC VAVS Deputy Representative and Volunteer at the SDVAHCS, Sir Knight Carlos I. Cuellar, through dedication and strong leadership, has had a very strong impact on the service to veterans at this VAMC with his steadily increasing involvement, serving in many roles over these past two years, amassing 119 hours of service, and recruiting three new Deputy Representatives while serving as the former KofC Representative for the VAVS committee. Mr. Cuellar diligently works long hours to make sure donated funds and in-kind donations are accounted for and properly used.
In addition to his KofC VAVS Deputy Representative and volunteer duties, Mr. Cuellar, supported by his ever present wife Patti, has initiated many collaborative community programs:
- In 2015/2016, of most particular note, Sir Knight Cuellar planned for, organized, and coordinated the delivery of 100 wheelchairs, a value of $7500.00, donated by the Knights of Columbus, to the SDVAHCS
- Cuellar continuously donates and provides for the SDVAHCS veterans cases of water and snacks throughout the medical center and outpatient clinics to the patients and departments undergoing construction, snacks for homeless veterans, and books, magazines, toiletries, etc. for the veterans and patients
- Carlos meets regularly with the Catholic Chaplains, coordinating support for their ministry, and most recently provided the Chaplains with new chalices
In addition to the above accomplishments, Sir Knight Cuellar, with wife Patti, is very involved with many different events:
- Participating in quarterly Memorial Service and the semiannual Memorial Service hosting the reception for the families of approximately 200 San Diego area Veterans who have passed away
- Actively supports the VA Summer Sport Clinics in San Diego and the Marine Corps Trials at Camp Pendleton. In each case, they provide water and snacks for all participants along with supporting many of the competitions as spectators to cheer on the athletes. The VA Sports Clinic organization provided Sir Knight Cuellar with a plaque recognizing him for his support
- Supports with the SDVAHCS Christmas Backpack event
- Collaborating with other organizations such as Feeding America and Soldiers Angels providing up to 8000 lbs. of food for indigent Veterans and active military families on a monthly basis. These distributions take place at VA Service Centers, American Legion, and VFW Posts throughout San Diego County
- Along with the delivery of 100 wheelchairs to SDVAHCS, Mr. Cuellar coordinated the delivery of another 180 KofC donated wheelchairs and 85 transport chairs to veterans in need throughout the area partnering with several San Diego veterans support organizations (VA Hospital, DAV, USO, Veterans Villages, Us4Warriors, Fr. Joe’s Villages, and Honor Flight (the 85 transport chairs and 20 wheelchairs to WWII Veterans for the semiannual trip to the WWII War Memorial in DC)
Carlos I. Cuellar is a highly motivated, determined, dedicated, and compassionate VAVS Volunteer and Deputy Representative, treating each veteran with dignity and respect.
Over these past two years, he has made a huge impact working tirelessly for Veterans. It is with great pride that Mr. Carlos I. Cuellar is the Knights of Columbus NAC Volunteer of the Year Nominee for 2016.