Oct 28, 2009
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 28, 2009) - Still Serving Veterans, a non-profit service organization that has helped more than 1,200 wounded veterans and their families reintegrate into new careers and communities, received the Army's 2008 Spirit of Hope Award at the Pentagon Oct. 27.
The Spirit of Hope Award was created in 1998 and named for Bob Hope, the first honorary veteran of the U.S. Army for his 50-plus years of entertaining troops, both in peacetime and in combat zones.
Each year, the five services and the Department of Defense can nominate individuals or organizations for the award that consists of a bronze or silver medallion with a bas relief of Hope created by sculptor Don F. Wiegand, whose foundation administers the awards. Recipients also receive lapel pins with Hope's likeness.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley hosted the event which was also attended by Linda Hope, who spoke on behalf of her legendary father about his dedication and admiration for the men and women who have served in uniform and as volunteers.
"It's very inspiring to see the work that's being done and the outpouring of good will that goes forth every single day," she said. "I know that would be a source of great inspiration to my dad and something he would be very proud to be associated with."
Established in 2005 through the vision of a small group of business and civic leaders in Huntsville, Ala., Still Serving Veterans assists wounded warriors whose service has resulted in blindness, amputations, post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, burns, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, along with other severe injuries.
Still Serving Veterans has developed an extensive work transition program in partnership with the Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Huntsville Rehabilitation Foundation to place veterans into meaningful careers.
"This particular award is a real honor because it epitomizes the values of the great Bob Hope, his selfless service, dedication, patriotism, honor and integrity," said retired Army officer William Webb, president and founding chairman of Still Serving Veterans.
"Our hero-servicemembers do noble things in dangerous places on our behalf and so many have had their bodies broken that we feel a moral obligation to serve our wounded warriors," he added.