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04 February 2009
MOAA Selects Entertainer Toby Keith, Members of Congress and Staff, Union Pacific and Volunteer Bugler for 2009 Top Awards

Alexandria, Va -The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), has named a famous musical entertainer, three U.S. legislators, a major U.S. company, a volunteer bugler, and two Congressional staff members as recipients of its highest awards for 2009.

Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.), Representatives Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and John McHugh (R-N.Y.), singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith, Union Pacific Railroad, volunteer bugler Tom Day, and two congressional staffers, Mr. David Kildee and Ms. Jeanette James, were selected by MOAA's Board of Directors to receive the annual awards.

The awards, given by MOAA, the nation's largest veteran's organization for active duty, National Guard, Reserve, former and retired military officers and their families and surviving spouses., are for individuals or organizations that strongly support military men and women and their families as they promote a strong national defense.  The awards will be presented April 21, in a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Senator Webb will receive the Colonel Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award because of his legislative leadership on the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, and Representatives Davis and McHugh will receive their awards for their work in championing legislatively a range of personnel improvements in the House, including a larger military pay raise, new preventive health initiatives, and improved benefits for Guard and Reserve personnel and military widows. Marix founded MOAA in 1929 and served as MOAA's first President until 1944.

Musical superstar Toby Keith will receive the MOAA Distinguished Service Award for his exceptional support of military people.  Keith is about to embark on his 8th USO tour and has performed more than 100 shows for that organization.  He has sold more than 30 million albums and has 24 singles that have reached #1 on the music charts.  He recently was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Union Pacific, headquartered in Omaha, Neb., will receive the MOAA Distinguished Service Award for strongly supporting military people, especially those in the National Guard and Reserve who work for them and have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Thomas J.  Day, from Berwin, Ill., founder of Bugles Across America,will receive the same award for his support of veterans by organizing thousands of volunteer buglers at Military funerals.

Congressional staff members David Kildee and Jeanette James of the House Armed Services Personnel Committee staff will be recognized with MOAA's Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award for their work on military health care. Col. Arcari was MOAA's Director of Government Relations for 14 years, retiring in 2002.

MOAA has awarded the Marix and Distinguished Service Awards since 1997. The congressional staff member award began in 2000.  For more information about MOAA, please visit www.moaa.org.

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