SemperComm to Recognize Creative Troops

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2007 - The troop-support group SemperComm is asking for nominations for its 2007 awards program recognizing the morale-raising efforts of troops stationed throughout the world.

This is the fourth year of the awards program highlighting the personal contributions of troops who go the extra mile for their fellow servicemembers. The deadline for entries is Feb. 26.

"The SemperComm Award recognizes the valuable contributions of military men and women based in out-of-the-way overseas locations where there often isn't much to do that could be considered recreational," said Lara Coffee, SemperComm executive director, in a news release. "Keeping our uniformed personnel's moral high is essential to their well-being and the ability to stay focused on their jobs."

Nominees will be judged by four retired military officers who will consider three factors: actions taken to boost the morale of fellow servicemembers, remoteness and size of the base where the nominee is stationed, and the desire to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Past winners include National Guard soldiers who built a bocce ball court in Iraq and a chaplain who created a cafe where personnel could enjoy refreshments in addition to watching movies and participating in movie or cigar nights.

Awardees will be notified by March 12 and invited to attend a gala and silent auction held in their honor on May 10.

The SemperComm Foundation is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program dedicated to recognizing the efforts of U.S. citizens who support troops at home and overseas.

The organization, based in Springfield, Va., has focused on improving the quality of life for servicemembers in remote bases since the Vietnam era. The name SemperComm, which means "Always Communications," is similar to the Marine's slogan of Semper Fidelis, "Always Faithful."

SemperComm has lived up to its moniker by providing troops with free communications and entertainment equipment in addition to software and services when they are stationed far from home.

"We understand that we can't reach all bases to boost morale," said Alix Hornig, SemperComm development coordinator, "so we want to recognize those who are making efforts to do so for their fellow troops."

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