Guard, Reserve and Employers Named 'Citizen of Year'
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2004 The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation named Reserve and Guard forces and their employers as the "Citizen of the Year" earlier this week during its annual Circle of Honor dinner at the New York Stock Exchange.
"We are privileged to honor as our citizen of the year America's citizen-soldiers and their employers, for their sacrifices on behalf of the nation and for being ready when the nation calls," said retired Col. Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient and foundation board member at the March 23 dinner.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Thomas F. Hall and Dr. Henry McKinnell, chief executive officer of Pfizer Corp., jointly accepted twin crystal plaques on behalf of the 1.2 million members of the reserve components and their employers.
"America depends on its National Guard and Reserve, and the Guard and Reserve depend not only on the individual members but also their families and their employers," said Hall. "I am deeply humbled to accept this award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation on their behalf."
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation supports the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, made up exclusively of the Medal of Honor recipients. The society reaches out to the public to promote an awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans, through courage, sacrifice, and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of history.
Two other award recipients named at the dinner also have a military connection.
Arnold Fisher, until recently the chairman of the board of trustees for the Fisher House Foundation, received the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's most prestigious award. Fisher received the Patriot Award for his work with Fisher Houses, which his foundation has built near military installations worldwide to accommodate families as they visit service members hospitalized due to wounds, injuries or serious illnesses.
Former astronaut Neil Armstrong received the Circle of Honor award for his lifetime contributions to America and all mankind. Armstrong and last year's recipient, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, are the only two people to have received the award.
Also honored were six New York Stock Exchange employees who are in the reserve components, some who have returned from mobilization and another whose unit has been alerted for mobilization.
Those honored were Army Reserve Maj. Tony Cavallaro, who recently returned from duty in Kuwait; Army Reserve Sgt. Michelle Pessoa, returned from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Army National Guard Staff Sgt. John A. Wilson, on alert for deployment to Iraq. Also honored were Air Force Reserve 2nd Lt. Sara Banda, Navy Reserve Petty Officer 2nd Class Ian Wolff and Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Kyle McArthur.