Army Depot Honors Former Mayor, Mayor Gives Commander Key to the City
December 10, 2012
Corpus Christi, TX -- Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) -- The former Mayor of Corpus Christi, Joseph Adame was given a distinguished award for his support of CCAD and the Warfighter on December 7, 2012. Mayor Adame and his wife came to the depot to receive the Knight of the Honorable Order of St. Michael, an award given through the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA). While most awardees have provided a direct contribution to Army Aviation as aviators and military, Mayor Adame was found worthy of the distinction due to his avid support of CCAD, the only helicopter maintenance repair and overhaul facility in the Army's organic industrial base.
"[Mayor Adame] goes above and beyond and is very supportive of the aviation branch," said CCAD Commander, Colonel Christopher B. Carlile. "I've seen the huge impacts he's made on the community since he's been mayor. He is a staunch advocate of this depot, the Soldier and the Joint Warfighter. He is well-deserving."
Mayor Adame became emotional as he received the award, pausing to gain composure to give his acceptance. "I'm usually very Cool Hand Luke about public events and recently I've been honored on various occasions but I can honestly say, as I drove down the road here, I was just overwhelmed."
Saint Michael refers to Biblical writings of an archangel who wages war against evil. His battles are an allegory of the struggle between good and evil. Throughout the centuries, Saint Michael has been depicted with a sword fighting or standing over a conquered dragon. In aviation, Saint Michael's legend has come to represent the bravery and gallantry associated with aviation Soldiers and those who support them.
"I guess what overwhelmed me was that when I read about this award, St. Michael was a guardian angel representing good versus evil. When you are in an elected position, there are many problems where you have to stand up for what's good. I had a flashback from about three weeks after I got elected about three and a half years ago. A pastor friend of mine, Miguel Cabrera, gave me a sword and all these various scriptures in the Bible about good versus evil. That sword represents the beginning and this award represents the end of that road as the Mayor of Corpus Christi."
"The Army Depot has the largest economic impact in this community," Mr. Adame told the crowd of CCAD employees and leaders. "You'd be foolish to not understand the economic impact of what CCAD is for our economy and the trend of innovation and things that are going on here to reinvent itself and be better stewards of the tax dollars that we're responsible for and the future looks even brighter with the trained labor force and the innovative things going on to protect our great country."
"You guys are the heartbeat of the economy of the Corpus Christi region," he told them. Mr. Adame redirected his attention to Col. Carlile who plans to depart the depot this summer. "As I've got to know Col. Carlile and understand what he's been doing to improve the quality of life, to improve the quality of the product that's going to protect the country, it's just overwhelming and I'm so proud of you." he told him. "I have one last key to the city and I would like to give this key to the city to Col. Carlile for what he's doing for careers and what he's doing for the depot and how he continues to expand and make this the best place in the world to work."
"We've always said that if you take care of the Soldier, the rest will take care of itself," responded Col. Carlile. "This depot does that very well. I'm very proud to be a part of this community and I'm very proud of the changes I have seen in the past two and a half years." Col. Carlile's Change of Command ceremony will occur this summer as he moves on to his next position in Army Aviation.
"This best thing you can do for economic development is take care of what drives your city to start with," said Mayor Adame. It's pretty obvious if you look at the 6,000 jobs and more than two billion dollar impact to the local regional economy, the Army Depot is right at the top of the list. I'm very proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of this awesome movement."