President Honors Guardsman's Volunteerism
(September 24, 2008)
President George Bush talks
with Air Force Maj. Dan Rooney of the Oklahoma
Air National Guard after arriving at Tinker Air
Force Base, Okla., Sept. 12, 2008. Bush
presented Rooney with the President's Volunteer
Service Award for his contributions to the lives
of military families through his Folds of Honor
Foundation. Rooney left for his third tour in
Iraq shortly after receiving the award.
Photo courtesy of the Folds of Honor Foundation
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2008 –
Just before heading overseas for his third tour
in Iraq, an Oklahoma Air National Guardsman
found himself standing in the limelight with the
Air Force Maj. Dan Rooney received the
President's Volunteer Service Award from
President Bush when the president arrived at
Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., Sept. 12. Since
March 2002, Bush has been personally thanking
volunteers for their service during his travels.
The award presented to Rooney is a reflection on
his work starting and running the Folds of Honor
Foundation, which provides educational
assistance for fallen or disabled servicemembers'
spouses or dependents.
“The Folds of Honor Foundation is honored and
fortunate to be led by such an outstanding
American patriot [as] Major Dan Rooney,” said
Josh Miller, the organization's vice president
for program coordination and compliance.
Rooney's receipt of the award is a tribute
to his outstanding efforts and is a sign that Folds of Honor
has made at least a minor impact on the military community,
Miller said. “More importantly though, Dan's receipt of the
award is an encouragement to continue on our mission to
ensure every last eligible spouse and dependent receives a
scholarship,” he added.|
As of last month, Folds of Honor had presented some 200
scholarships totaling $1.1 million. The organization has
even higher hopes this year, as the organization's annual
fundraiser, Patriot Golf Day, held at about 3,800 PGA golf
courses on Labor Day, is estimated to have generated more
than $3 million toward more scholarships.
With about 1,250 golf courses tallied so far, Patriot Golf
Day has raised about $830,000, Miller said.
The President's Volunteer Service Award developed out of
Bush's call during his 2002 State of the Union address for
Americans to make a difference by volunteering in their
communities. Three months later, the President's Council on
Service and Civic Participation created the award.
The awards are available to individuals 14 and under who
have completed 50 or more hours of service. Those 15 and
older must have completed 100 or more hours, and families or
groups can be recognized for pitching in for 200 or more
hours or volunteering in the community.
Miller said he's not sure how many hours Rooney has put in
since starting the Fold of Honor Foundation.
“I couldn't even begin to estimate, but essentially in 2007,
just getting the foundation up and running was pretty much a
second full-time job for Dan,” Miller said. “I can say with
confidence that he far exceeded the 100-hour volunteer
The Folds of Honor Foundation is a supporter of America
Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting
citizens and companies with servicemembers and their
families serving at home and abroad.
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
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