San Diego CA— On Thursday, April 5, the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) held its 11th Annual Achievement Awards recognizing local civilian and military individuals, companies, and organizations that made extraordinary contributions to the welfare of San Diego’s military community during CY 2017.
In addition to several achievement awardees, this year SDMAC leadership awarded the Rear Admiral Bruce Boland, USN (Ret) Lifetime Achievement Award to Commander Jim Bedinger, USN (Ret), a Vietnam Prisoner of War and an officer who served over 22 years in the Navy. Bedinger has been an active volunteer in the San Diego community for years and is an SDSU alum. The Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the late Rear Admiral Bruce Boland, USN (Ret), whose exemplary career spanned more than three decades culminating in his assignment as Commander, Naval Base San Diego, now Navy Region Southwest. His life was marked by achievement, leadership and consistent action for the public good.
“Every year we are honored to see such impressive nominees providing public service and selfless support to our military and supporting communities,” said Rear Admiral Mark Balmert, USN (Ret), President of SDMAC. “In the 11th year of our Achievement Awards we feel privileged to recognize these organizations and individuals who are going above and beyond to support and help improve the quality of life for our active duty servicemembers, retirees, veterans and their family members. The San Diego community has been immensely supportive of our servicemembers and their families. And we are looking forward to our upcoming event and thank all who submitted nominees for recognition.”
Collectively, award recipients volunteered thousands of hours in 2017 toward the welfare of San Diego’s military community.
Rear Admiral Yancy Lindsey, USN, Commander, Navy Region Southwest, served as the keynote speaker for this special event and Mark Larson, AM 760 Radio and KUSI TV, was the Master of Ceremonies – attended by more than 200 community, military, and business leaders.
2017 Rear Admiral Bruce Boland, USN (Ret) Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:
Commander Jim Bedinger, USN (Ret)
Jim Bedinger is a patriot who faithfully served the United States Navy for 22 years, which included internment in Vietnam as a Prisoner of War for over three years. He has been an active member of several organizations that support the military. His life has been one of “Service to Country” and dedication to the men and women of the military and their families. He’s been a member of the Navy league for almost 30 years, serving in numerous capacities including Vice President and President. In recognition of his efforts, he was presented a Navy League Scroll of Honor and selected as the Navy Leaguer of the Year. In 1994 Jim was elected to the Board of the San Diego Armed Services YMCA where he served on their marketing and business development committees and was actively involved in many of the great programs available to our military members in the San Diego region. In 2012 Jim was elected to the Board of Warrior Foundation/Freedom Station, and over the past 6 years they have raised more than $1.4 million to support wounded warriors in the area. From 1996-2015 Bedinger served on the Defense, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. In this capacity, he was involved in enhancing the Chamber’s understanding of the military and the challenges that veterans face, as well as helping the community better understand the benefits veterans bring to the San Diego area. Since 1997 Jim has served on the Board of Directors for Fleet Week and has been instrumental in helping that organization grow. Jim served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Military Advisory Council, Tailhook, and he currently serves as the Treasurer for the SDMAC Foundation; overseeing the budget and funding for scholarships for veterans in the San Diego area.
SDMAC Achievement Awards Recipients:
Nancy Dix, Esq. Military Unit Achievement Award
Navy Environmental Preventative Medicine Unit (NEPMU) FIVE
NEPMU FIVE is a unit that goes above and beyond the call of duty and their mission. Although their mission is to provide specialized consultation, advice and recommendations in matters of occupational health, health promotion, preventative medicine, environmental health and deployable medical surveillance, they also have strong supportive relationships with the surrounding community. They have an ongoing partnership with Olympic View Elementary School, participated in 24 health fairs in military housing and onboard ship, provided 70 hours of support to Father Joe’s Village and donated 50 hours of labor to the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center.
Nancy Dix, Esq. Civilian Organization Achievement Award
Veterans, Employees, Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve (VERITAS)
The VERITAS organization is made up of Northrop Grumman employees and family members who volunteer in our local community through events that support, care for and celebrate both current and former military members. With 650 members in 2017, VERITAS has participated in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, Veterans Village, USO BBQ and Tuesday Night Dinners, Work for Warriors, Camp Pendleton Custom Career Fair, Wreaths Across America, Valentine’s for Veterans, Military Transition Conference at USD and more. Additionally, VERITAS raised $16,000 in support of the Navy Bay Bridge Run, packaged 20,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger, and shipped over 600 hygiene kits to deployed service members for Operation Gratitude.
Nancy Dix, Esq. Military Individual Achievement Award
HM2 Justin L. Sobleskie, USN, Weapons and Field Training Battalion (MCRD)-Camp Pendleton, CA
Hospital Corpsman Second Class (HM2) Sobleskie is a dedicated active duty sailor, part time student, husband and father who displays a drive to serve his local community to help instill positive values into the next generation. In 2017, HM2 Sobleskie served as a Youth Sports Coach for the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Community Services Youth Intermural Sports League where he dedicated over 568 hours coaching baseball, football, and soccer. In order to serve as a coach, HM2 Sobleskie was required to complete athletic training sponsored by the National Alliance for youth sports, investing over 50 hours of his personal time learning about working with parents, motivating children building confidence, teaching sportsmanship, sports safety, proper nutrition, and hydration.
Nancy Dix, Esq. Civilian Individual Achievement Award
Cindy Clabaugh, Fisher House
Cindy Clabaugh, aka the “Right Hand Woman”, has been an integral part of Fisher House where she has volunteered over 2700 hours since 2012. She provides numerous services including administrative work, material preparation, housekeeping duties, event management, and emotional support for families. A twice widowed Navy wife, Cindy made the decision to devote her time to giving back to the service that gave so much to her. She is active in her church which supports children in Tijuana and participates in other community programs such as Christmas to San Diego’s foster children and families of deployed service members. She eats, sleeps and breathes Fisher House because, in her own words, “it makes me happy”!
SDMAC advances the partnership among the military, our elected officials, civic leaders, and the business community to enhance the understanding of our military’s many contributions to the San Diego region. Annually, SDMAC releases its military economic impact study, highlighting the significant economic benefits that San Diego receives from the defense and military communities.