USO Hawaii honors 2012 service members of the year

| December 18, 2012 | 0 Comments
Rear Adm. Charles Ray (left), commander, U.S. Coast Guard 14th District, and Rear Adm. Fernandez “Frank” Ponds (right), commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Service Group Middle Pacific, present Spc. Phillip Stapp, Co. C, 1-27th Inf., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, with his USO Service Member of the Year award during the USO Service Salute ceremony. (Photo courtesy USO Hawaii)

Rear Adm. Charles Ray (left), commander, U.S. Coast Guard 14th District, and Rear Adm. Fernandez “Frank” Ponds (right), commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Service Group Middle Pacific, present Spc. Phillip Stapp, Co. C, 1-27th Inf., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, with his USO Service Member of the Year award during the USO Service Salute ceremony. (Photo courtesy USO Hawaii)

United Service Organizations
News Release

HONOLULU — Aboard the “Star of Honolulu,” more than 350 guests from the local community, the USO’s sponsorship family and all branches of service, gathered, here, Dec.1, to recognize six service members for their extraordinary loyalty, bravery and heroism in representing the highest ideals of courage and patriotism.

The USO Service Salute has been an international tradition throughout the world for 70 years, and is distinctly known for its commitment to spotlighting our nation’s finest military personnel in an atmosphere of elegance and patriotic celebration.

Selected by their senior enlisted leaders, the 2012 honorees are Army Spc. Phillip Stapp of Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regt.; Marine Corps Sgt. Daniel Dejong of 1st Bn., 3rd Marines; Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Tamez of 1st Bn., 3rd Marines; Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Abitbol of 735th Air Mobility Squadron, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Charlene Garcia of USCG Rush (WHEC-723); and Hawaii Air National Guard Master Sgt. Friedrich Gebauer of 109th Air Operations Group, JBPHH.

Rear Adm. Charles Ray, commander, U.S. Coast Guard 14th District, and Rear Adm. Fernandez “Frank” Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Service Group Middle Pacific, were guest speakers for the evening and presented honorees with awards. In addition to the Crystal USO Service Member of the Year award, each honoree received an oceanfront weekend stay at the Ilikai Hotel, and a dinner cruise for two.

The USO also honored its Volunteer of the Year, George Villa, an Air Force veteran who has volunteered with USO Hawaii for more than 25 years. Villa was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. The organization provides a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services.

The USO also provides critical support to those in need, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.

Army – Spc. Phillip Stapp, Co. C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt.

Marine Corps – Sgt. Daniel Dejong, 1st Bn., 3rd Marines

Navy – Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Tamez, 1st Bn., 3rd Marines

Air Force – Senior Airman Andrew Abitbol, 735th Air Mobility Sqdn., JBPHH

Coast Guard – Petty Officer 1st Class Charlene Garcia, USCG Rush (WHEC-723)

Hawaii Air National Guard – Master Sgt. Friedrich Gebauer, 109th Air Ops. Group, JBPHH

 

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