The Non Commissioned Officers Association Down East Chapter #906 recently hosted their annual Sergeant Major C.A. “Mack” McKinney Awards Ceremony at Sywanyks in Jacksonville, NC.
Service to country and community comes in many forms and this year’s recipients of the SgtMaj C. A. “Mack” McKinney Award represent the outstanding contributions of both individuals and organizations. Lee and Patricia Walker and Marine Federal Credit Union were the recipients of the 2019 Sergeant Major C. A. “Mack” McKinney Award.
“I’m overwhelmed. I do a lot of things but I don’t do it for this,” Pat Walker said of the award. “We’ve been blessed in our lives and I enjoy paying it forward.”
Between them, the couple has been involved in a wide variety of community activities, including youth sports, Boy Scouts, Wreaths Across America, Red Cross and efforts to build a visitor’s center at Lejeune Memorial Gardens.
Lee Walker served in the Marine Corps and after retiring he knew how he would devote his time. “I’m a veteran and when I retired I said I’m going to give back to my community and do as much as I can to help to veterans,” he said.
Their contributions haven’t gone unnoticed.
“The Walkers are constant figures in the Onslow / Jacksonville area. Their volunteer service to the community is immeasurable,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Paul Siverson, who served as the program’s master of ceremonies.
The award is presented each year in honor of retired Marine Sergeant Major Mack McKinney, who retired in 1971 and worked to establish legislative initiatives affecting compensation and benefits for active, reserve, guard and retired members. The award is presented to military members who have demonstrated professionalism, dedication and service to the United States and its military over a sustained period of time. It is also presented to members of the local community who have demonstrated strong support for the military community.
Or in the case of the second honoree, it can be an organization.
“It is the first time they’ve done this for an organization and we’re terribly honored,” said Marine Federal Credit Union CEO Jeff Clark.
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Marine Federal and it is now serving 80,000 members, with 17 branches in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina. As it has grown in members, Marine Federal has been ready to meet the needs of the military communities it serves with online banking and loans, remote check deposit, Live Teller machines and other services.
“Supporting NCOA is just the right thing to do,” said Marty Goldman, chairman of the MFCU Board of Directors, a past recipient of the McKinney Award.
Visit The Daily News website to see more photos from the McKinney Awards ceremony.
Story credit – The Daily News – Jacksonville, NC