AUSA honors a Soldier, American patriot, hero at Fort Rucker
July 15, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- It was his 90th birthday.
An expression of curiosity was on retired Col. Seldon Bailey's face when his name was announced, and he walked to the front of the room to take his place next to Col. Timothy Edens, special assistant to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, during the monthly Association of the United States Army meeting at The Landing, July 7.
Bailey was surprised yet humbled when Edens honored his 90th birthday and presented him the Civilian Patriotic Service Award.
Bailey, who is one of two remaining original AUSA members, said, "I appreciate every one of you here and I am deeply honored by this."
Bailey served his country and his community beginning at age 16. He served during World War II and held several military positions. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal and numerous other awards throughout his career. Bailey followed the dedicated service to his country with service to his community and civic organizations. At 90, Bailey continues to be an active member of not only AUSA, but also the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way and many others.
"He is a true American patriot, and I don't feel there is an award high enough for everything he has done," said Fort Rucker Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Dwaine Walters.
His passion for Soldiers, young and old, and for his community, shines in his everyday life. When asked how he felt about being 90 and the accomplishments in his life, Bailey said he felt all of us owe some kind of debt for being in this country. Bailey continues to work with young Soldiers and mentor them, especially Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, Dothan's sister unit.
"I am proud to know him," said Lt. Col. Mikael Ash, 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt. commander. "He has done so much and continues to stay connected and add so much to our military and community."
"Bailey is loved by everyone who knows him and is said to have unbelievable energy," said Walters.
When asked about his vision for the future, Bailey said he has seen a change in people the last couple of years in their regard toward patriotism. He feels people are becoming more conscious of the security of our nation and it is becoming a reality. His hope is to see this trend continue and for our young to learn from the old.