Minneapolis award recipients
The 2018 American Legion Spirit of Service Award recipients pose with convention dignitaries. Photo by Schelly Stone/The American Legion

Minneapolis award recipients

A multitude of awards are given out at each American Legion national convention, and the 100th convention in Minneapolis in August was no exception. Below is a list of 2018 awards and their recipients, whether given onstage or off.

Distinguished Service Medal

Hon. Elizabeth Dole

National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Brett Walsh

National Firefighter of the Year

Damon Faust

Ralph T. O’Neil Education Trophy

For greatest activity in use of American Legion School Medal awards

Department of New Mexico

Daniel J. O’Connor Americanism Trophy

For best all-around Americanism activities

Department of Virginia

National Recruiter of the Year

David L. Witucki, Houston

Race to the Top winners

Given to district commanders who attain at least 100 percent of the district’s assigned membership objective by March 31

Ronald F. Bradstreet, Hoover, Ala.

Holly Lewis, Colliers, W.Va.

Jimmy L. Mitchell, Fresno, Texas

Gregory A. Spight, Detroit

Consolidated Post Report winners

Departments of West Virginia, Alaska, Colorado, Vermont, Connecticut, Kentucky, Idaho, Wyoming, Ohio and Maryland

Frank N. Belgrano Trophy

For support of Boy Scouts of America

Department of Missouri

Garland D. Murphy Jr. Award

Based on actual contributions received during the 2017-2018 American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (CWF) year

Department of Florida

U.S. “Udie” Grant Legacy Award

Based on total combined donations of American Legion Family to the Child Welfare Foundation

Department of Florida

Child Welfare Foundation Meritorious Achievement Award

Given for the highest increase in per-capita giving to the CWF

Department of Kansas

William F. Lenker National Service Trophy

For best supporting and implementing programs to benefit veterans and their families

Department of Montana

Fourth Estate Awards

Broadcast: KARE-TV, Minneapolis, “Disconnects, Delays and a Pattern of Denial”

Print: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Mexico Blackouts”

New Media: The War Horse, “Marines United”

O.L. Bodenhamer Trophy

No. 1 in membership at June report

Department of West Virginia

Employer of the Year

For companies and businesses dedicated to hiring veterans

Small: Allied Universal Security Services (Raytheon Account), Rowlett, Texas

Mid-Sized: Gallery Furniture, Houston

Large: Southwest Airlines, Dallas

Employer of Older Workers Award

ESW Inc., Crown Point, Ind.

Michael Guty Homeless Veterans Outreach Award

Department of New Jersey American Legion Family

Employment Service Local Office Award

IDES Sterling, Peoria, Ill.

Local Veterans Employment Representative of the Year

Spencer Horton, Georgia

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist of the Year

Samuel L. Denson, Pensacola, Fla.

Color Guard Contests

Military: Fountain Hills (Ariz.) Post 58

Military Open: Harrisburg Post 472, Houston

Open: Shooting Stars Unit 14, Flora, Ill.

Advancing/Retiring Colors: SAL Detachment of California District 12

Band Contest

American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Tonawanda, N.Y.

Spirit of Service

Air Force: Staff Sgt. Robert P. Andrews

Coast Guard: Machinery Technician 2nd Class Brian Gogo

Marine Corps: Sgt. Molly Hampton

Army: Sgt. Drew Hunnicutt

Air National Guard: Staff Sgt. Heather J. Hyon

Navy: Petty Officer 2nd Class Sha’nae Wilson