Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Citizen-Soldier Honored

(l to r) Joe Nortz, TriWest Healthcare Alliance (award sponsor), LC Adam Torem and Brian Nelson, Kiwanis Club (host forum).

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s presented the Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award – this 29th year to an U.S. Air Force Reservist – to Lt. Col. Adam Torem.

Lt. Col. Adam Torem is a valued member of our community and of the United States Air Force Reserve. In addition to his ‘day job’, and serving his country, Lt. Col. Torem has shown exemplary dedication to the community.

He coached a team of nine and 10-year-old students, leading them in the “FIRST” Lego League Challenge for budding engineers. (FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”.) This competition involved incorporating a programmable “brick” into a Lego robot designed by the kids, and Lt. Col. Torem’s team proudly took third place in the competition.

As an active member of his synagogue for many years, Lt. Col. Torem also taught Sunday School to both 3rd and 9th grade students.

Lt. Col. Torem was a key element in re-drafting legislation that amended the Washington State version of the Service Members Civil Relief Act, ensuring that all residents that are called to Active Duty receive the same benefits. He provided support to State legislation designed to protect the parental rights of Washington residents who are deployed, helping to maintain custody or visitation rights with service members’ children.

He is a volunteer for the Housing Justice Project, donating one day a month providing free legal advice to citizens with problems with their housing situation. He supported the creation and continuation of “Attorneys Assisting Citizen-Soldiers and their Families”, which is a legal program created to train local volunteer attorneys to provide legal assistance to the large number of recalled, activated or mobilized Air and Army National Guard members and their families. Unlike traditional volunteerism, these services are provided ‘pro bono’, which is defined as applying specific professional skills to provide services for those who are unable to afford them.

Lt. Col. Torem continues his pro bono work as a member of the State Bar Associations Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section which provides the Reserve and National Guard families of Washington’s military community a level playing field regarding legal matters.

Serving as an Individual Military Augmentee, Lt. Col. Torem lives in University Place, works for the state Utilities and Transportation Commission and is assigned to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.

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