By Jim DresbachOctober 18, 2012
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Whipple Field has been the meeting place for a handful of informal and formal observations and ceremonies during 2012.
The country's Independence Day festivities, the Signal Corps birthday observation, the shuttle Discovery flyover and late summer Twilight Tattoos all played a central role in base life, but one additional outdoor piece of pomp and pageantry was scheduled for the late afternoon of Oct. 11.
That late afternoon time slot was reserved for the Salute from the Chief.
The 5 p.m. military performance was the 21st Twilight Tattoo held on JBM-HH this calendar year. In between the final march-on and march-off of the year, U. S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno presented five citizens with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award.
Award recipients for outstanding civilian contributions to the United States Army included Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS); Mike Conklin, chairman and CEO of Sentinels of Freedom; Steve Dunning co-director of NBC Universal Veterans Network and Got Your 6 Campaign Steering Committee member; former Professional Golfers' Association of America golfer David Feherty, who co-founded Feherty's Troops First Foundation; and Dr. Edmund C. Tramont, a clinical researcher with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Institute of Health.
"As we stand here on this beautiful hilltop overlooking Washington D.C., it is an honor for me tonight that we have five individuals that have gone above and beyond in their selfless support of our troops," Odierno remarked about the tattoo's five honorees. "All of these individuals have dedicated enormous amounts of time and effort to support, enable and empower our Soldiers and Army Families. And tonight, I am not only proud to acknowledge all the support they have given to our Army, but to tell them how grateful we are for what they do as role models and as selfless leaders willing to give back."
After separate introductions, Carroll, Conklin, Dunning, Feherty and Tramont were awarded medals and framed acknowledgments of their contributions to the Army, its Soldiers and Families.
Twilight Tattoo encore performances were provided by The U.S. Army Band's "Pershing's Own," The U.S. Army vocal group Voices, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the Presidential Salute Battery and the U.S. Army Drill Team soloists.
Odierno paid tribute to the tattoo participants -- many who performed during a bulk of the previous shows held on JBM-HH's Summerall and Whipple Fields.
"Throughout the course of this summer, we've conducted 20 Twilight Tattoos having entertained thousands of people showing everyone the very best of our Army," the Army chief of staff said. "I want to thank you; all of you on the field and all of The Old Guard for your service, your exceptional talent and commitment to excellence which is a great example for all to see."