JEFFERSON CITY — State Senator Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau, Missouri is one of only five persons in the nation to be awarded the Charles Dick Medal of Merit by the National Guard Association of the US (NGAUS) for 2017.
The award is reserved solely for elected officials who make a significant contribution to the aims of the National Guard as determined by a distinguished panel that juries recipients for the award.
Other persons receiving the award in 2017 are: US Congressmen Andy Barr (Kentucky) and Walter Jones (North Carolina); Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii); and State Representative Tim Moore (Kentucky).
NGAUS is the nation’s oldest military association lobbying for the benefit of the National Guard and providing education about the Guard’s role and history in the Armed Forces of the United States.
NGAUS was formed in 1878 to obtain better equipment and training by petitioning Congress for more resources. The organization is headquartered in Washington, DC with affiliated, federated organizations, such as the Missouri National Guard Association, in all fifty-four US states and territories.
In part, Senator Wallingford was lauded for his efforts to enhance the “military friendliness” of Missouri and the lighthouse example his efforts offer to other states.
In the last two sessions of the Missouri legislature, Wallingford introduced legislation to provide Missouri residents who are members of the National Guard a deduction of National Guard earnings on Missouri income taxes.
Since his election to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2010, Wallingford has been a model of support for the National Guard and all the military as well as military veterans.
Presently, Senator Wallingford is Chairperson of the Missouri Senate’s (standing) Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs.
Senator Wallingford has a remarkable military service record in the US Air Force. His record reflects more than three hundred combat missions over North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia during the Vietnam Conflict and six deployments during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Senator Wallingford’s decorations include: the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, twenty-one Air Medals, and the Air Force Commendation Medal for Heroism. LtCol (Ret.) Wallingford ended his service in the Air Force in 1993.
A number of notable persons in the nation have received the Charles Dick Medal of Merit over the years for their exemplary and steadfast support of the National Guard.
Missourians to receive the award include: former US Senator and Governor Kit Bond; current US Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill; former US Congresswoman Pat Danner Meyer; current US Congressman Sam Graves; and former Governor Jay Nixon.
Senator Wallingford will formally receive the Charles Dick Medal of Merit award on Saturday evening, December 9, at the Annual National Guard Birthday Ball to be held at Tan Tar A Resort, Osage Beach, Missouri.
In 2017, the Annual Ball will commemorate the 381st birthday of the National Guard.
At the event, the Charles Dick Medal of Merit will be presented to Senator Wallingford by Major General Stephen Danner, The Adjutant General, Missouri National Guard, and the former Chairman of the Board of Directors, NGAUS.