News

League honors Sailors, Marine of the Year

From the left, Sgt. Lee Robert Oliveira Jones, Marine of the Year, Petty Officer Brian J. Boyle, Shore Sailor of the Year, and Petty Officer Amanda Sue Hackford, Sea Sailor of the Year. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
From the left, Sgt. Lee Robert Oliveira Jones, Marine of the Year, Petty Officer Brian J. Boyle, Shore Sailor of the Year, and Petty Officer Amanda Sue Hackford, Sea Sailor of the Year.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

The Oak Harbor Area Council Navy League and Rotary Club of Oak Harbor honored three service personnel at their 36th annual Awards Luncheon at the Officers Club Friday.

Petty Officer Amanda Sue Hackford, Sea Sailor of the Year, Petty Officer Brian J. Boyle, Shore Sailor of the Year, and Sgt. Lee Robert Oliveira Jones, Marine of the Year, are noteworthy examples of the service men and women who work toward a cause that is greater than themselves, said Whidbey Island Air Station Commanding Officer Captain Gerral David.

“They forgo wearing a business suit, forego easy street and forego the easy life to wear the cloth of our nation. ... You are what makes America such a great country,” David told the awardees.

Petty Officer Hackford, Petty Officer Boyle and Sgt. Jones were chosen after “great deliberation” by the selection committee, David said.

Oak Harbor Mayor Jim Slowik praised the trio with a proclamation and will honor them at the next City Council meeting, Jan. 5 at City Hall.

This isn’t the first honors given to Boyle and Hackford.

Boyle’s awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, five Good Conduct Medals and various unit service awards.

Hackford has received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (six awards), Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (four awards), in addition to numerous unit and campaign awards.

All three are heavily involved in the community through volunteer work.

Hackford volunteers her time with the Shadow-a-Sailor program mentoring 16 Naval Sea Cadets, at the M-Bar-C ranch for special needs children and supports the North Whidbey Help House by assembling and delivering food staples to local families in need.

Boyle is an avid volunteer with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oak Harbor and helps design and build their annual haunted house. This year’s fundraiser garnered more than $10,000 for the club. He also volunteers with the Hearts and Hammers of Coupeville and Cub Scout Den 4059.

Jones volunteers with Toys for Tots, Navy JROTC drill competitions, and the NJROTC Leadership Academy. In his spare time, he also coaches a youth indoor soccer team in Anacortes.

Event sponsors MilitaryWives.com, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Alaska USE Federal Credit Union, Navy Commissary, Navy MWR, Schiffman Chiropractic, Northrop Grumman, Brandman University, Wal-Mart and Carlson Wagonlit Travel presented the awardees with a bevy of gifts for their accomplishment.

The awards ceremony, recognition and gifts are a small token of thanks, said Rotary President Mike McIntyre.

McIntyre, who was born to a Navy family, said, “In addition to policemen and firemen, military members are my heroes. The military requires a special kind of sacrifice, to serve a cause greater than any self interest.”

“I’m not sure how we repay that,” he added.

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