Massachusetts Son receives inaugural Marvin P. Nay Award
Isaiah French, second from right, received the inaugural Marvin P. Nay Award at the 2021 SAL National Convention on Aug. 28, 2021. Joining French for the award presentation were, from left, SAL PNC Cliff Smith, American Legion PNC Jake Comer, Sally Nay, and SAL VEE Commission Chairman Thom Skelley. Photo by Matt Parsons

Massachusetts Son receives inaugural Marvin P. Nay Award

His efforts to help the homeless in Boston and elsewhere have earned a member of the Detachment of Massachusetts the inaugural Marvin P. Nay Award.

Isaiah French of Squadron 189 in Sterling, Mass., received the award on Aug. 28 at the Sons of The American Legion National Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. French was recognized for his effort in creating Project Warm-Up, a volunteer organization aimed at providing food, clothing and other supplies to the homeless.

In presenting the award, SAL Veterans Employment and Education Committee Chairman Thom Skelly noted that the project stemmed from an experience French had on a school trip to Boston when he was 13. After seeing a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk wearing a trash bag to stay warm, French told his mother he needed to find a way to help.

French’s membership in the SAL “has strengthened his commitment to help the homeless as more than 800 of the homeless in Massachusetts are veterans,” Skelly said.

The Marvin P. Nay Award was created by SAL resolution in September 2020 to recognize SAL members who make “outstanding contributions to veterans employment and education,” including homelessness relief efforts. Nay was a member of the SAL Veterans Education and Employment Commission who died in 2019.