MOAA will present its annual awards to six people who have made outstanding contributions in support of the military community. The awards will be presented at an April event on Capitol Hill.
2018 Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award
U.S. Reps. Martha McSally (R) and Kyrsten Sinema (D), both of Arizona, will receive MOAA's 2018 Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award for their strong leadership advocacy to sustain our nation's all-volunteer force. McSally is a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, and Sinema is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. The Marix Award is named for the retired Marine Corps colonel who founded MOAA in 1929. It is presented annually to members of Congress who distinguish themselves in protecting the rights and interests of uniformed services members, their families, and survivors.
“We selected Representatives McSally and Sinema because of their committee contributions in support of military servicemembers, veterans, and their families in the past and what we hope to see more of in the future,” said Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret), MOAA's government relations director for currently serving and retired affairs.
2018 Distinguished Service Award
Tim Barone, president and CEO of Arizona-based Vantage Mobility International, and Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, will receive MOAA's Distinguished Service Award. Barone will receive the award for Vantage Mobility International's work helping thousands of disabled veterans achieve independence and mobility, while Johnson's award recognizes Starbucks Coffee Company's continued support in the hiring of veterans and military spouses. The award recognizes organizations or individuals not in Congress who have greatly aided people who served in the U.S. armed forces.
“Tim Barone and Vantage Mobility International are helping wounded service members reclaim independence,” said MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret). “That impacts every aspect of their lives.”
Veteran unemployment is always on MOAA's radar, Atkins said. “Starbucks Coffee Company is taking a stand where it can, in the way it can, to help with that. I am proud to honor Kevin Johnson and Starbucks with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award.”
2018 Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award
Jorge Rueda, formerly with the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Samantha Gonzalez, with the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, will receive MOAA's 2018 Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award. Rueda is being recognized for his advocacy on veterans' issues, and Gonzalez is being recognized for her advocacy to sustain veterans' health care. The Arcari award, which honors congressional staff members who have made significant contributions to the uniformed services community, is named for the retired officer who led MOAA's Government Relations Department from 1990 until 2001.
“Veterans issues - health care, employment, earned benefits, retirement - are among MOAA's top goals,” said MOAA Vice President of Government Relations Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret). “We cannot overlook the efforts of those who are working with us to achieve those goals.”
MOAA has awarded the Marix and Distinguished Service awards since 1997. Past recipients of the Marix Award include Sens. Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and Jim Webb; past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award include Tom Brokaw, Toby Keith, and retired Army Gen. Colin Powell. The Arcari award recognizing congressional staff members was first awarded in 2000.
More about the award recipients:
MOAA to Present Congressional Leadership Awards to Arizona Reps
MOAA to Present Hill Staffers with Meritorious Service Award
MOAA to Honor Starbucks CEO With 2018 Distinguished Service Award
Vantage Mobility Intl. to Receive 2018 MOAA Distinguished Service Award