Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber names Citizen-Soldier Award recipient

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber announced Tuesday it has presented the 2009 Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award to Technical Sergeant Juan Colon.

TSgt. Colon works for the Department of Homeland Security with the Camp Murray Police Department, and is a member of the 446th Airlift Wing, where he serves as a mortuary specialist dedicated to bringing American combat casualties home with dignity and honor. He also provided over 1,580 hours of community service last year.

According to the Chamber, TSgt. Colon is an active member of his church, the Knights of Columbus, and numerous community programs. His focus is youth, and he teaches high schoolers about caring for those who cannot care for themselves, and provides meals for those who cannot provide these basic needs on their own.

“When TSgt. Colon volunteers, it becomes a family activity and all the members of his family participate,” Gary Brackett, Business & Trade Development Manager for the Chamber, in a statement. “Together, they are responsible for fundraisers, retreats, summer missions, Thanksgiving dinners, parent volunteer groups, religious programming and community donation center drives.”

TSgt. Colon has spent over 450 hours alone working in the community food bank. He also provided blankets to shelters and made numerous visits to the sick. “He is a consummate teacher of life lessons in our society,” said George Cargill of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, sponsor of the award.

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. He returned to succeed as a banker in Tacoma, giving of his time to community service organizations.

Technical Sergeant Juan Colon (center) is this year's Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier Award recipient. TSgt. Colon is joined by his wife, Francis, and George Cargill of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. (PHOTO COURTESY TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY CHAMBER)