VFW recognizes outstanding community servants

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Some of Dallas County’s finest citizens were recognized for their hard work Sunday afternoon.

Selma VFW (Verterans of Foreign Wars) Post 3016 held its annual Servicemen of the Year luncheon and awards to honor the law enforcement officer, fireman, emergency worker, teachers and students who help make a difference daily in our community.

“We appreciate them. They watch over us all year long and don’t ever get recognized for it,” said post commander Rod Stone. “They only get cussed for it most of the time. Without them, we wouldn’t have a community.”

One member of both the Dallas County Sheriff’s office and Selma Police Department was recognized.

Jeffrey Hardy, who was wounded during an operation, received the SPD’s officer of the year award. Prior to working in Selma, he was also a member of the Hayneville and Marion police departments.

Investigator Jebb Harrison won the award given to the county sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr., praised Harrison and officers like him for the efficiency with which his department works.

“Jebb is one of the fine examples of who and what we have at the sheriff’s office,” Huffman said.

Engineer Aeneas Pettway won the award for Fireman of the Year.

Even after serving in the army, Pettway said the relationship with his fellow firefighters is as strong as any.

“I’d like to thank my family; it’s been a long road traveled,” Pettway said. “The guys that work with me at the fire department are my other family. I spend more time with them than I do with my family (at home). There’s nothing like the brotherhood. A lot of people say things about the money and the pay. But if you’re a fireman, you don’t do it for the pay. You do it out of the kindness of your heart. I want to thank everyone here and everyone I work with. Not just firefighters, but police and ambulance workers, too.”

Selma Fire Chief Henry Allen echoed Pettway’s sentiments.

“Our work is not measured in pay,” Allen said. “It’s measured in service because that’s what we are – we’re servicemen. I thank God for the opportunity to serve.”

Randy Wallace, an emergency medical technician for 16 years, received the recognition as the rescue worker of the year.

People in the field of public safety do tasks most others wouldn’t or couldn’t take on.

All persons in attendance, either through words or applause, showed their appreciation for the honorees and the many other workers they represent. Other honored guests were Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., and Probate Judge Johnny Jones.

The Selma VFW also recognized educators and students during the awards ceremony.

Pat Clare and Mary Cook, both teachers at Morgan Academy, won the Youth Essay Award Citation for their work with students.

Young writers also submitted essays as part of the “Patriot’s Pen” writing contest.

Laura Tilton of Morgan Academy took first place and a $200 U.S. Savings Bond. Anna Caitlin Welch and Shannon Leigh Waters, also of Morgan, took second and third place, respectively, and won $100 Savings Bonds.

“It’s important that we do the youth awards,” Stone said. “These are our leaders coming up, and we like to recognize them.”