DOD Spirit of Hope Award ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location – P
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James presented the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award to military and civilian honorees during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Dec. 12.

The Spirit of Hope Award is presented for outstanding service to the United States. Each service nominates one person for the award, which is awarded to men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, entertainers and other distinguished Americans and organizations whose patriotism and service reflect that of Bob Hope.

“These recipients have selflessly contributed an extraordinary amount of time, talent and resources to significantly enhance the quality of life to service members and their family members serving around the world,” James said.

This year’s Air Force honoree was retired Tech. Sgt. Victor M. Pulido III.

“This award was a surprise to me…” Pulido said. “I found out I was nominated after I retired.”

Pulido donated more than 292 hours of his time, talent and resources by working with 11 different community and base-wide organizations in 2013 to benefit and enhance the quality of life of Armed Forces service members and their families, as well as Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.

“Looking out for your Airman and working side by side regardless of your days off strengthens the wingman concept,” Pulido said. “The little things you do can actually mean the biggest things to other people.”

Pulido served on four community-based organizations that provided food to homeless and needy families. He prepared and served hot meals to more than 460 homeless community members each month, packed and distributed boxes of food and hygiene items to a food pantry twice a month, and packed several hundred food bags with his directorate’s booster club for the Feed My Starving Children Foundation.

“The recipients have clearly put the needs of others before themselves and devoted much of their own time to take care of others within their respective communities (such as local area, base/unit, and public service),” said Maj. Mary Garavelli, the Air Force Services Policy Integration officer.

The services policy integration office was responsible for receiving the Air Force nominations and served as the host military service.

Hope was designated the first honorary veteran of the Armed Forces for his decades of entertaining troops, both in peacetime and in combat zones. This honor was bestowed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

In 2008 the presentation of these awards was combined into a joint ceremony and added recognition of a nominee from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to include the joint staff, defense agencies and DOD field activities. Responsibility for the award ceremony rotates among OSD, the services and the Coast Guard.

“Each honoree epitomized the values of Bob Hope: duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication” James said.

The following is a complete list of the 2013 DOD Spirit of Hope Award recipients:
Nominated by OSD/Joint Staff : The Vigiano Group of FDNY
Nominated by Army: Joyce W. Massenburg
Nominated by Marine Corps: Marjorie L. and Arthur P. Miller
Nominated by Navy: Final Salute Incorporated, Brian Drummond, Board Chair
Nominated by Air Force: Retired Tech. Sgt. Victor M. Pulido III
Nominated by Coast Guard: Robert Powers