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Base members earn EAANG awards

(From left) Retired Army Guard Warrant Officer John Heffernan, Master Sgt. Bob Oldham, retired Army Guard 1st Sgt. W.C. Wood and retired Air Guard Master Sgt. Charlie Hagerman with their Enlisted Association of the Arkansas National Guard awards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Keith Moore)

(From left) Retired Army Guard Warrant Officer John Heffernan, Master Sgt. Bob Oldham, retired Army Guard 1st Sgt. W.C. Wood and retired Air Guard Master Sgt. Charlie Hagerman with their Enlisted Association of the Arkansas National Guard awards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Keith Moore)

ROGERS, Ark. -- The Enlisted Association of the Arkansas National Guard presented its annual awards April 28 in Rogers, Ark., and two base members were honored. 

Retired Army Guard Warrant Officer John Heffernan of the base's retiree activities office received the President's Patriot Award. Master Sgt. Bob Oldham, a first sergeant in the Arkansas Air Guard's 189th Airlift Wing, was named the association's Enlisted Person of the Year. 

To earn the President's Patriot Award, a nominee must have contributed exceptional service to the association. Although a single accomplishment may be deemed a qualification for the award, particular consideration is given to those who have contributed exceptional service of a sustained nature. It's the only award the Enlisted Association can give to an individual who is not an annual or life enlisted member. 

Mr. Heffernan was cited as a constant source of information and assistance to any service member, retiree or family member. He has helped the association the past several years to secure funding and information for its annual retiree breakfast. 

To earn the Enlisted Person of the Year Award, a nominee must be an annual or life member of the association. An individual must distinguish him or herself as particularly outstanding in service to the association and the Arkansas National Guard. It takes more than superior performance of normal duty to justify the award. A Soldier or Airman must have offered exceptionally contributions over an extended period to time to merit this award. 

Sergeant Oldham contributed greatly to the success of his unit and to the association at the state and national levels, his nomination package stated. Militarily, he is responsible for the publication of the unit's 16-page monthly newsletter. He serves as the first sergeant of the 154th Training Squadron, and he fills an elected role as secretary of the wing's first sergeant council. Within the Enlisted Association, he has worked as the co-chair of the state publications committee to turn its publication, The Creed, into a more professional publication. 

He also volunteered to serve as the joint resolutions committee co-chairman with a member of National Guard Association of Arkansas. 

At the national level, he serves as the publications chairman, utilizing his military skills to improve communication with Guard members across the country. In his spare time, he continues to improve himself by working toward a bachelor's degree in journalism. 

The association also presented two other awards: 

Retired Air National Guard Master Sgt. Charlie Hagerman received the association's highest award, the H. Lynn Wassell Leadership Award. 

Retired Army Guard 1st Sgt. W.C. Wood received the Meritorious Service Award. 

The Enlisted Association's Auxiliary also presented its Spouse of the Year Award. This year's recipient was Alma Vaughn, wife of Army Guard Staff Sgt. Charles Vaughn.

The Enlisted Association exists to organize all enlisted personnel of the Arkansas National Guard to work together in unison for the purpose of advancing the standing, prestige and welfare of the enlisted members.
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