WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2011 – Their commanding officers call them "outstanding" and "unmatched in their commitment," and their officers also say they are "truly an example to follow," "highly commendable" and that they "set the bar high for others to emulate."
They are the six honorees of the 2010 GEICO Military Service Awards who have demonstrated their commitment to the military and civilian communities where they live and serve.
Each branch of service took on a rigorous screening of their top candidates for the GEICO Military Service Awards, and the recipients were honored at special ceremonies in Washington, D.C. This is the 23rd year that GEICO has held these award ceremonies to recognize the contributions of the men and women of the U.S. military.
The GEICO Military Service Award recipients are:
United States Army
Army Corporal Timothy Wells, stationed in Hohenfels, Germany, is being recognized for his tireless work to educate students and families about preventing drug and alcohol abuse. No stranger to battlefield conditions in Afghanistan and other hot spots, this recipient of the Purple Heart took the battle against drugs and alcohol to the classrooms.
In addition to heading the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program and teaching classes at Hohenfels, Corporal Wells made good use of every opportunity to be on hand at school and community events where he could meet students in less structured situations to encourage better, open dialogue. He also met in special sessions with teachers and parents to develop risk reduction strategies.
The extra hours and extra effort Corporal Wells put in are paying off. The results of his efforts reduced the number of school-aged first-time users of over-the-counter medication and alcohol by 33 percent.
United States Marines
Marine Corporal Robbie Johnson, stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., is being honored for his effectiveness in educating his fellow Marines and their families about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving.
Corporal Johnson himself experienced the loss of his father, killed by a drunk driver, when he was 13. That and other personal experiences caused him to create an entirely new and original program. "Project Guardian Angel - No More Excuses," using his own resources and dollars to help get the program up and running.
United States Navy
Chief Petty Officer Joseph Ford of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two (HSC-2) NAS Norfolk, Va., is being cited for his innovative and industrious safety programs to assure the highest level of operational readiness and for leading drug and alcohol prevention, fire safety, and motorcycle and traffic safety programs.
Chief Ford proved to be extraordinarily effective in all three areas of safety and health. He designed a comprehensive drug and alcohol prevention and control program that featured an abuse contract for which Sailors could focus on additional treatment. He monitored treatment and follow-on aftercare plans for a number of fellow Sailors and personally mentored dozens of service members. That and other programs he designed helped the Wing earn an "Outstanding" evaluation from his higher headquarters.
United States Air Force
Air Force Technical Sergeant Jeannie Washington, stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, earned the recognition for her work in drug and alcohol education, prevention and treatment, while posted to bases in Florida, Germany, Guam, Alaska and now in Hawaii.
Tech. Sgt. Washington trained as a mental health technician, became a journeyman, and was certified as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor through the Air Force ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Treatment) program. She currently serves as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the mental health clinic at Hickam.
United States Coast Guard
Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael James, currently assigned to the USCG Escanaba, is being honored for his valuable work at the Laurel Shelter for battered women in Gloucester County, Va., and at the Boys and Girls Club in Newport News, Va., while stationed at the USCG Training Center, Yorktown, Va.
Petty Officer James gave a series of presentations to Boys and Girls Club students about preventing drug and alcohol abuse, traffic safety and fire safety, and organized volunteer events focused on those subject areas. Quizzes showed that the students’ knowledge and awareness had greatly increased. He also created volunteer programs for the students to help them develop management and leadership skills. In addition he tutored the children about domestic violence situations.
United States Guard/Reserves
Petty Officer Lynne Lutz, currently assigned to the VR-61, Whidbey Island, Wash., is cited for her work developing drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs for students in the Illinois-Wisconsin region while assigned to the Great Lakes Navy Reserve Component Command.
Petty Officer Lutz was selected to take park in the Drug Education for Youth Summer Camp to work with at risk students between the ages of 9 and 23. She facilitated two dozen courses over the one-week camp period.
She also served as Campaign Drug Free coordinator and visited eight schools, delivering presentations to more than 100 school children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. In addition Petty Officer Lutz has a 20-hour-a-month volunteer commitment with the Kenosha YMCA to handle administrative activities as well as informally talking to students. She makes a point of telling them that their lives will be filled with choices and that they should seek out a positive path and a good role model.
Presenting the GEICO Military Service Awards was GEICO Chairman Tony Nicely who said, "It is an honor and a real pleasure all these years for GEICO to work with the U.S. military branches of service to pay tribute to so many outstanding men and women. These honorees are certainly persons of great value to their military and civilian communities and we thank them for their service."
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 11 million private passenger customers and insures more than 18 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
GEICO's online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.