Chamber honors Citizen-Soldier of the Year

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce presented its 25th annual Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award to Citizen-Airman, Master Sergeant Theron Smith on April18.

The award, sponsored by TriWest HealthCare Alliance and selected by the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, is given annually to an outstanding individual who is a member of the Washington National Guard or a Reserve unit.

“The Military Affairs Committee seeks a person who is an exemplary community volunteer,” said George Cargil, vice president for Tri West HealthCare Alliance. “The recipient must also be professional in civilian and military occupations and a resident of Tacoma-Pierce County.”

Sergeant Smith holds exemplary records in both his military and civilian roles. He is First Sergeant of the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at McChord Air Force Base. Sergeant Smith has been in the Air Force for more than 19 years, transferring to the Air Force Reserves upon completion of his active duty enlistment. He was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom in December, 2004, where he served as First Sergeant to a blended squadron composed of active duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel.

At home, Sergeant Smith is a member of his church’s Men of Distinction Squad. In addition, he is dedicated to youth education both through his church’s youth ministry program and his employer – the Washington State Patrol’s youth outreach education programs. With his Washington State Trooper partner, Sergeant Smith adopted a Hurricane Katrina family, coordinating assistance and personally donating much needed supplies and equipment to the family.

“Sergeant Smith has exemplary records in both his military and civilian roles. His activities and achievement as a community volunteer are exemplary. In fact, nothing describes Sergeant Smith better than ‘exemplary,’” said Gary Brackett, the Chamber’s manager of business and trade development.

Each year, the Citizen-Soldier Award memorializes Howard Scott who grew up in Tacoma and served the nation when called upon during World War II- as part of America’s Greatest Generation. He returned to succeed as a banker in Tacoma — giving of his time to community service organizations, believing and enjoying this in his belief that doing so is one’s responsibility.