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American Legion, president honor air traffic control Airman for volunteer efforts

Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Day smiles for a photo after receiving the American Legion Spirit of Service Award at the Legion’s National Convention Aug. 26, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The award is sponsored by the National Headquarters of the American Legion and is presented annually to an enlisted member from each of the military services for outstanding volunteer service performed off-duty in the local community. Day is a 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control craftsman  (Courtesy photo)

Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Day smiles for a photo after receiving the American Legion Spirit of Service Award at the Legion’s National Convention Aug. 26, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The award is sponsored by the National Headquarters of the American Legion and is presented annually to an enlisted member from each of the military services for outstanding volunteer service performed off-duty in the local community. Day is a 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control craftsman (Courtesy photo)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho (AFNS) -- A 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control craftsman here recently received the American Legion Spirit of Service Award for outstanding volunteer service from President Barack Obama.

Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Day accepted the 2014 award from the commander-in-chief at the Legion's National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Aug. 26.

"It was such an exciting and humbling experience," Day said. "It was great getting to know the Spirit of Service Award recipients from each of the other branches of service as well. Having the opportunity to be presented this award by the president in front of thousands of Legion members was quite an amazing honor."

Day volunteered more than 400 off-duty hours to assist a variety of other local programs and helping to raise more than $121,000, donate 2,600 items, and 2,000 pounds of goods to directly benefit more than 600 people and animals.

"The significance of Staff Sgt. Day being recognized as the Air Force award winner is an amazing accomplishment and highlights the type of (Airmen) that Mountain Home Air Force Base produces," said Master Sgt. Stacie Boritz, the NCO in charge of air traffic control training at the 366th OSS. "She is the epitome of service before self; she has demonstrated she is a role model and advocate of extending our mission into the local community. Mountain Home Air Force Base, the 366th Fighter Wing and the 366th Operations Support Squadron have been highlighted in numerous articles due to her winning this prestigious award; I believe the members of the Wing and the Squadron take pride in the fact that we were represented at the national level by one of our own ‘Gunfighters.’"

Day currently works in the radar approach control section.

On Aug. 24, Day met with other service selectees and proceeded to a memorial ceremony where several speakers spoke about the sacrifices service members made throughout the year.

"I have never been a part of something that big, but loved the fact that it came from giving back to my community," she said. "Volunteering is something I have always believed strongly in because we should leave our community better than when we arrived. I learned that from my grandmother. I have always just wanted to make a positive impact, make a difference."

Once the big day arrived, Day and the other winners prepared their speeches for the presentation of the awards.

"Helping people is something that I love to do," Day said. "If one small thing could set off a chain reaction and multiple people are affected, you've really accomplished something. How much better would our world be?"

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