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• Staff Sgt. Frances A. Hinton, Army Guard, from Rapid City, S.D.

• Sgt. First Class Nathaniel Parsons, Army Reserve, from San Antonio, Texas

• Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chris Ehrman, Navy Reserve, from Meridian, Idaho

• Chief Master Sgt. Robert A. Poisson, Air Force Reserve, from Fort Worth, Texas

In addition to delivering the keynote speech, Adm. Roughead also presided over the re-enlistment ceremony for Petty Officers Second Class Luis and Maria Fonseca from Fayetteville, N.C. The more than 300 attendees at the annual event included members of Congress, high-ranking officials from the Department of Defense and high-profile members of the media.

AMVETS award

The Sarge is looking forward to joining AMVETS, Department of Maryland, when it presents its annual prestigious “PNC A. Leo Anderson Memorial Free State Award of Excellence” to Brig. Gen. James A. Adkins, Adjutant General of Maryland, at a ceremony on April 10 at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland.

The award honors Gen. Adkins’ 30-plus years of advocating for veterans’ benefits and for those of their family members. The ceremony will be attended by distinguished leaders of AMVETS, other veteran service organizations from throughout the state, as well as State of Maryland elected officials.

The PNC A. Leo Anderson Memorial Free State Award of Excellence was first awarded in 1987 and has been awarded annually since that time.

A few former honorees include: Maryland Govs. William Donald Schaeffer and Robert Ehrlich, Jr.; U.S. House of Representatives members Beverly Byron and Helen Bentley; Maryland State Comptroller Louis Goldstein; AMVETS past National Commander A. Leo Anderson; American Legion past National Commander Clarence M. Bacon; and the Director of the Baltimore VAMC Dennis Smith.

Gen. Adkins’ career spans more than 30 years in both the enlisted and officer ranks. He has served at nearly every level of command and in various staff assignments. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute (Russian language program) in Monterey, Calif. He served in Intelligence, Infantry and Calvary assignments in the United States and abroad. His military assignments also included Director of Military Support to Civil Authorities, Counter-drug Task Force Commander and Coordinator of Emergency Management Operations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he assisted the Republic of Estonia in its transition to democracy.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, DC 20035-5900; fax: 301/622-3330; call: 202/257-5446; or e-mail