The National Guard has received the American Patriot Award from the National Defense University in a ceremony in Washington D.C. and the Missouri National Guard was well-represented.
“We honor distinguished statesman and warriors who have really shown above-and-beyond dedication to public service,” University Foundation President Cathleen Pearl told Missourinet.
Accepting the award for the men and women of the Guard was General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, who is a Missouri guardsman. Those at the ceremony also heard a performance by former Missouri Air National Guard member, Tech Sergeant Angie Johnson, who recently sang during the World Series.
Pearl said the award is a message to each man and woman in the guard.
“It sounds simple, but we can’t say it enough, is ‘Thank you,'” Pearl told Missourinet. “They volunteer to say to say, ‘I have my civilian life, I have my civilian job, but at any time that you need me, I will stop, put my life on hold and go serve.'”
Pearl says the Guard is well-deserving of the recognition, though many civilians may not know all it does.
“They have an idea that when there’s a disaster at home, the National Guard will be there, whether it be a flood or a tornado, the National Guard is there to serve in their hometown,” but what they may not realize is the Guard has a global mission as well that they do at the same time, so they can be called out to serve for their governor or if it’s a national emergency, they can also be called up by the president.”
The division had Adjutant General Stephen Danner to accept the award, but he had to remain in Missouri as preparations continue for the possibility of more unrest in Ferguson.
Tech Sergeant Angie Johnson sings the National Anthem:
This video showcased the National Guard at the award ceremony:
Governor Jay Nixon was also unable to attend, but sent a video message: