A 23-year old Marine stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., received the American Legion’s Spirit of Service Award today in recognition of his extensive volunteer efforts in the community.
Sergeant Avery Washington II, who serves as the communications and data noncommissioned officer in charge for the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, coordinated volunteer efforts in which Marines, sailors, soldiers and civilians provided countless hours of off-duty service to children and the less fortunate in the Cherry Point area.
American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill presented the award during the American Legion’s 92nd National Convention at the Milwaukee Convention Center. Washington was honored along with representatives from the other four military services.
Born in Hartford, Conn., he graduated from Bloomfield High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts in the spring of 2005. He attended Norfolk State University until enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2007.
During the presentation, Hill cited his extensive volunteer work in Special Olympics, Havelock elementary and middle schools, the Neuse River Senior Games, Habitat for Humanity, and a number of senior citizen organizations.
Washington also serves as the CNATT Single Marine Program event coordinator.
“Being able to make a positive impact on people is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering,” Washington said. “I know how it feels to wish I had help or guidance with something and not have it available. So being able to facilitate Marines by volunteering and helping people who actually need it is great.”
“You really can’t count the accolades this Marine has achieved,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael E. Sprague, Sergeant Major of CNATT. “He is a rare breed. A multifaceted leader who sets a great example while maintaining humbleness that is admirable.”
"Our nation is fortunate to have such dedicated service personnel as Sgt. Washington who represent the very finest our nation has to offer," said Commander Hill, who presented him a membership in The American Legion as part of the award. "For both his military service and his community service, Sgt. Washington is a credit to his uniform and to our country. He makes me, and all the other men and women of The American Legion, very proud."
This is the eleventh year that the American Legion has sponsored the Spirit of Service award program.