Military Organization Honors Supporters

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2007 - The Military Officers Association of America announced it will present its highest award to an actor and a corporation for their strong support of military servicemembers.

Gary Sinise and the DuPont Company, with headquarters in Wilmington, Del., will receive the MOAA Distinguished Service Award for 2007.

MOAA looks for indicators of strong support for military employees when considering organizations for this award, retired Air Force Col. Steve Strobridge, MOAA's director of government relations, said.

"(That includes) making up the pay between military pay and their old salary, continuation of benefits, support for the families, (and) recognition when they return," he said.

The criteria are a little different for an individual to receive the MOAA Distinguished Service Award. "Selfless service, achievement of results and reflections of credit on the military community" are key the elements, Strobridge said.

"DuPont and Sinise clearly demonstrated a great deal of caring and personal involvement involving the military," he said.

Sinise stars in CBS's "CSI: NY." As one of the founders of the "Lt. Dan Band," named after his "Forrest Gump" character, the actor has toured the world playing concerts for military personnel and their families.

DuPont earned MOAA's recognition for its strong support of military personnel, in general, and specifically for its employees who are military reservists.

The Military Officers Association of America is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting the ways Americans and the corporate sector are supporting the nation's servicemembers.

DuPont also helps "Treat the Troops," an America Supports You organization that sends cookies to deployed servicemembers, with shipping costs.

MOAA also will recognize five members of Congress and two congressional staffers. Sens. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, as well as Reps. Chet Edwards of Texas, and Walter Jones of North Carolina, will receive the Col. Arthur T. Marix Congressional Achievement Award for championing legislation to protect retired military families against health fee increases.

Virginia Sen. John Warner is being recognized with a special achievement award for his eight years leading the Senate Armed Service Committee. The two staffers, John Chapla and John Conger, also are being recognized for their broad support of military personnel.

The awards bring awareness to those offering strong support to the military, Strobridge said. They also let servicemembers know they're not forgotten.

"It is important to show the men and women who are serving and have served that the American people do care about them and recognize and appreciate them for their service," he said.

The awards will be presented in a ceremony on Capitol Hill on April 17.

[Web Version:]