WASHINGTON, D.C. – Missouri was represented well at the American Patriot Award gala hosted by the National Defense University (NDU) Foundation in Washington, D.C.. last night as Missourians Technical Sergeant Angie Johnson and NDU Foundation CEO Cathleen Pearl come together to honor the National Guard. Both Technical Sgt. Johnson and Pearl are former Missouri Guardswomen.
Gov. Jay Nixon was unable to attend as originally planned and sent a video message to ceremony attendees. The video message pays special tribute to the Missouri National Guard, with examples of their service, and also talks about how, as a member of the Counsel of Governors (which addresses National Guard and homeland security issues), he has witnessed firsthand the heroism of our Guardsmen and women both at home and abroad.
Sgt. Johnson, former member of the Missouri Air National Guard (ANG) band, belted out a special song. Johnson performed at the World Series in Kansas City.
Pearl, who served six years of active duty with the Missouri ANG at Jefferson Barracks, presided over 500 top brass attending the prestigious event.
General Frank J. Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, accepted the award on behalf of the U.S. National Guard, served in the Missouri Guard and hails from Jefferson County, attending Fox High School.
“The men and women of the National Guard are the embodiment of service, versatility, and patriotism, well deserving of joining the outstanding group of Americans who have been honored with the American Patriot Award, our very highest recognition,” said Al Zimmerman, chairman, NDU Foundation Board of Directors. “It is especially fitting that the NDU Foundation honors Guardsmen, since more than 250 attend the National Defense University annually, where they polish their skills as leaders in building and maintaining our nation’s security.”
The award annually recognizes leaders who have strengthened the nation’s strategic interests and advanced global security. More than 500 guests, including administration officials, members of Congress, senior military and diplomatic officers, and corporate and community leaders attended.
Past American Patriot Award honorees include: President George H.W. Bush, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Robert Gates, The Honorable Henry Kissinger, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, General Colin Powell, and Admiral William McRaven on behalf of the troops of United States Special Operations Command.
Support of the American Patriot Award gala benefits National Defense University (NDU), America’s pre-eminent educational institution for the study of national and international security. Humana, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, was the presenting sponsor.
For additional information regarding the National Defense University Foundation, visit http://www.ndufoundation.org.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.