The 122nd Fighter Wing is pleased to announce the recipients of two prestigious National Guard Association of the United States awards for their contributions to the service members of the great state of Indiana. The award recipients are Indiana State Senator for Distict 15, Senator Thomas Wyss, and President of the Fort Wayne Base Community Council, Mr. Rob Young.
Senator Wyss, is the recipient of the Charles Dick Award, designed to recognize the contributions to the National Guard by elected representatives to legislative bodies at the state and national levels. Sen. Wyss is a second-time recipient of this distinguished award. He first received the award in 1994 for his unwavering support of the military in the state of Indiana and across the nation. Sen. Wyss has dedicated himself to ensuring soldiers are provided the necessary funding and equipment to succeed on the battlefield. Also, as a veteran of the Indiana Air National Guard, Wyss has the ability to convey complex issues that our service members face to both the public and fellow community leaders. Sen. Wyss created the Indiana commission on Military and Veterans Affairs and effectively served as chair for many years. He continuously serves veterans through his work on the commission.
"With the support and advocacy of leaders such as Senator Wyss, the National Guard will continue to have a voice when America's Citizen Soldiers need leadership at the national level to speak on their behalf," said Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of the State of Indiana.
When speaking of the second award recipient, Mr. Rob Young, Umbarger noted that we also need strong community leaders. "Mr. Young's reflection of military core values, and desire to support the military members of not only Northeast Indiana, but the entire state should be rewarded. His actions set an example for community leadership nationwide to emulate."
Young received the Patrick Henry Award, recognizing civic leaders, who in a position of great responsibility distinguished themselves with outstanding and exceptional service to the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard or the National Guard Association of the United States. As president of the Fort Wayne Base Community Council he advocates for strong civil-military cooperation, and fostering a trusting relationship with military leadership within communities. Within the first year of the council's existence, the 122d Fighter Wing was faced with an Air Force proposal that would remove the A-10 Thunderbolt II from Fort Wayne and replaced it with the MC-12W Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Mission. This conversion would have meant the loss of over 400 jobs, 85 of which were full-time positions. With his hand-picked board of influential community members, Young spearheaded a letter-writing campaign that resulted in approximately 10,000 letters being sent to Washington D.C. from Northeast Indiana on behalf of the 122d Fighter Wing. The efforts of the Base Community Council, led by Young, along with state leadership, elected officials, The National Guard Association of Indiana and the National Guard Association of the United States, ensured the A-10 mission remained in Fort Wayne.
"The 122nd Fighter Wing and the Indiana National Guard as a whole is fortunate to have such dedicated leaders such as Senator Wyss and Mr. Young fighting on behalf of our Soldiers and Airmen," said 122nd Fighter Wing Commander Col. David L. Augustine. "Not only have our service members benefited greatly from the efforts of these two great men, but the families have as well. We are proud to consider them part of the team and look forward to working with them on future projects."