RALEIGH — Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, North Carolina’s National Guard, Adjutant General, presented the Meritorious Public Service Medal during a special ceremony at the North Carolina National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday to four individuals — including Wesley Campbell of Elizabethtown.
The ceremony marked the first time the NCNG has presented the award, which is presented for outstanding service to individuals who make a substantial contribution or is of significance to a major Army command.
The four recipients were Campbell, vice president of retail operations at Campbell Oil Company; Haddon Clark III, president of Sampson Bladen Oil Company; Constance Frazier of Connie Wilson Consulting, Inc.; and Dick Hummel of the Wakefield Senior Men’s Golf Association.
“Their dedication to the well-being of North Carolina National Guard members and their families is truly inspirational,” Maj. General Lusk said. “These individuals and the organizations they represent have touched the lives of so many of our citizen soldiers and I wish everyone involved in their fund raising events were here so I could personally thank them.”
The official orders read as follows: “In recognition of their outstanding patriotic spirit, generosity and support of the families in the North Carolina National Guard. Their commitment to the betterment of our family programs embodies the core values of a true patriot and we are extremely grateful. Their contributions are in keeping with the highest ideals of selfless service and community involvement. Their dedication to help the families in the North Carolina National Guard is commendable and we pay special tribute to you for your service to our country.”
Dennis Roach, director of the Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, Inc. said, “We are extremely grateful to these four individuals and their organizations. The SAAF does not receive and state or federal funding, so our program relies on donations we receive from people and organizations who care about citizen soldiers here in North Carolina.”
The Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund has a five-star rating and is considered one of the top state non-profits in the United States supporting the National Guard. That rating is based on programs, income, accountability and involvement with the community.
“I will be the first to tell you that we have been very blessed,” Roach said. “Our fundraising events certainly exceeded our expectations. It’s amazing to see the response from everyone involved in Han Dee Hugo Stores and Minuteman Food Marts annual “Boot Campaign” fundraiser in their stores annually. And our specialty license plate is doing well. Our ‘In God We Trust’ specialty license plate allows folks to show their American spirit and patriotism wherever they go and support our troops in North Carolina at the same time.”
The Soldiers Fund’s latest project was sending 500 plus care packages to every North Carolina Army and Air Guardsmen deployed. All of their sponsors were involved in this project and the support they received from several members of the North Carolina Petroleum and Convenience Store Marketers made it a huge success.