The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber presented the 32nd annual John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to SMSgt. Michael Lantz on Nov. 11. SMSgt. Lantz is currently the first sergeant for the 361st Recruiting Squadron, JBLM-McChord Field.
Since arriving with his unit, SMSgt. Lantz became involved with the Seattle gift sharing program, delivering Christmas presents to low income youth centers, foster care groups, elderly centers and at-risk youth programs. During the back-to-back snow storms of 2008, SMSgt. Lantz and his fellow volunteers secured four-wheel drive vehicles and worked to midnight guaranteeing a Christmas for the less fortunate. Over the past three years, SMSgt. Lantz and his volunteers have delivered over 9,000 Christmas presents.
In the summer of 2008, SMSgt. Lantz became involved with the Paint Tacoma Beautify program. He volunteered to be a partial crew lead of a home identified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Over five weeks, he and his team prepared, primed and painted the house. They also weeded the garden and trimmed trees and shrubbery. In 2009, SMSgt. Lantz became a member of the Paint Tacoma Beautiful planning committee. Through his efforts, there were 10 military teams who donated over 1,000 hours for 12 newly painted homes.
During the 2008-2009 school year, SMSgt. Lantz was nominated to the Carter Lake Site Council where he tackled the communications between parents and teachers. After implementing new communications tools, parent volunteerism doubled and complaints were drastically reduced. Before the beginning of school this year, SMSgt. Lantz suggested a “Clean Up Carter Lake Day.” Over 50 volunteers showed up for the “Clean Up” and pressure washed sidewalks, trimmed bushes, dug flower beds, painted hallways and bathrooms, raked leaves and spread two dump trucks of beauty bark.
“There is no question that SMSgt. Lantz devotes countless hours and boundless energy to improving our community,” said George Cargill, award sponsor representative and Vice-Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.
The Chamber created the John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to honor an outstanding military citizen to commemorate the civic contributions by our resident military personnel. John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid 1950s. He is also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.