Updated: Apr 2, 2021
On Friday, March 5, Second Harvest Food Bank held an event to thank the Ohio National Guard members who have now been serving with us for an entire year since the beginning of the pandemic. Members of the Air Force and Army are also currently serving at the food bank as part of a special joint task force. In the event organized by Assistant Director Nicholas Hubbard and Development Associate Audrey Vanzant, the Guard members also received a proclamation from the city of Springfield.
It started out as a small event, but special guests from the upper echelons of the National Guard, Army, and Air Force were invited.
Seven National Guard soldiers nominated by their peers for outstanding service were recognized and given a commemorative American flag from the food bank. This award recognized individuals who have gone above and beyond and made a significant impact to the missions and to the teams to which they were assigned. The flags were given presented to Senior Airman Callie Woodruff, Airman First Class Hallie Mills, Corporal Logan Wilson, Staff Sergeant Tori McCoy, Specialist Marisa Lowery, Corporal Paul Bowen, and Technical Sergeant Byron Ingram.
“We’re making history here,” Sergeant Ingram said after the flags were given out. He hopes the members will keep the flags for the rest of their lives and remember the work they have done at Second Harvest.
Technical Sergeant Ingram invited Sergeant Dillon Jacques to the front of the room to present the custom joint taskforce T-shirts that all Guard members received. The T-shirts were custom-made by Sergeant Jacques’s wife.
Three special guests were then recognized: Technical Sergeant Byron Ingram, Senior Master Sergeant Sarah Berzes-Vaughn, and Captain Ted Brown (pictured below).
Executive Director Tyra L. Jackson thanked the Guard for helping serve over 65,000 people and providing over a million meals last year. “You have saved lives,” she said.
Another special guest, Col. Hesterman spoke about the importance of the National Guard carrying out their service here in the states. “This has been a great reminder of who our community is,” he said. “Our job isn’t just to deploy overseas.”
He thanked Second Harvest for “making us better people” and said when they’re back doing their normal jobs, they hope the relationship between them and Second Harvest “will never fade.”
To close the event, the Guard presented a framed picture to Second Harvest that had been signed by all the National Guard members.
We sincerely thank all the Guard members for their service this past year. We could not have gotten through this pandemic without you!
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