Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two For One

 Our community is honored to have one of our own recognized for two exemplary honors:  the Association of the U.S. Army's Bainbridge Medal and the USO's Volunteer of the Year.

USO Puget Sound Area (USO PSA) volunteer, Herb Schmeling continuously gives his all to the USO, putting our nation’s service members first. As one of the center’s most committed volunteers, he regularly gives 60-80 hours a month, and is always available at a moment's notice. 

Herb eagerly passes on information about USO PSA to the thousands of troops and their families stationed Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base (now JLM). He represents USO PSA at Combined Federal Campaign events and Family Deployment Fairs, making sure the JBLM military community is aware of USO PSA’s programs and services. He was also instrumental in successful Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives, helping serve holiday meals to more than 400 military families.

Affectionately called the “Godfather of Fort Lewis,” Herb was honored for his exceptional efforts, being selected as Fort Lewis’ Volunteer of the Year for 2008. He also was featured on the front cover of the FOCUS, Fort Lewis’ monthly magazine. USO PSA is extremely thankful for the commitment and enthusiasm that Herb displays on an ongoing basis. He inspires everyone around him and is an excellent pick for the Stateside Volunteer of the Year!

The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) bestowed its prestigious Bainbridge Medal to CMS (ret.) Schmeling at its Oct. 25th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

As a tribute to the Army NCO Corps, the Association of the United States Army established a Noncommissioned Officer Distinguished Service Medal in the year 2000. This award, named for the fifth Sergeant Major of the Army, William G. Bainbridge, USA, Retired and its first recipient is presented to a noncommissioned officer during the opening ceremony at the AUSA Annual Meeting.

The Bainbridge Award recognizes the special role of the noncommissioned officers in America's Army - their responsibilities, accomplishments and the vital role they play in the defense of our nation. The award also highlights the important contributions that NCOs make to America long after they take off the uniform. It recognizes an NCO who has devoted a lifetime of selfless service to our Army, the NCO Corps and to the local community. The Bainbridge Award is presented to a noncommissioned officer - active, reserve component or retired - whose contributions to the NCO Corps and the local community have been significant.
Schmeling served in the Army for 30 years but, AUSA notes, has continued his devotion to the Army and his compassion for soldiers and their families. He volunteers for a variety of local and national military service and support organizations.
As a long-standing member of the Capt. Meriwether Lewis (formerly Ft. Lewis) Chapter of the AUSA, Schmeling personally bid farewell and welcome home to more than 15,000 troops that deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). 
The Godfather of Ft. Lewis has said, his greatest honor came last year when his picture and bio were place on the Madigan Army Medical Center's NCO Wall of Fame.  Schmeling may be seen at any function serving service members and their families as well as representing their interests and well-being as a forthright spokesman throughout the community.  When you see him, as you will, say "Thank you."

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