They've enlisted to serve our country and simply by being stationed at NAS Meridian, they have chosen to enlist in our community. Thursday, Kristopher Cokle, Kimberly Jefcoat, Daniel Morgan, Bobby Waldroup and Cory Wallace were all recognized by the Meridian Navy League's top military citizens.
"Its because you see people giving to the community. That is what really gets my heart. Over 22,000 hours have been given to the community from the base," said NAS Captain Jeffrey Dickman.
The hours have been given through volunteering at nursing homes, and with local schools. It takes a lot of time, but Corey Wallace, who was named this year’s Citizen of the Year, says it is time well spent, especially on a military schedule.
"To be honest, being in the military I get early every Saturday morning, so it’s better to be doing something or else I would just be watching TV," said Wallace.
Thursday was more than just about awards, it was a chance for the Navy League to re-emphasize the importance of NAS Meridian to the area, especially when the Base Realignment and Closure Process is slated to begin next year.
"Its obvious that NAS Meridian is important from an economic stand point, but to be here today and see these people supporting our community rather than us supporting is just mind boggling," said Bob Ford, Vice President of the Navy League.
It makes one think, if the base and its outstanding service men and women were gone, there would be a greater impact that just an economic one.