Albany Times Union

Latham woman earns top Guard award

- By Terry Brown News of troops and units can be sent to Duty Calls, Terry Brown, Times Union, Box 15000, Albany, NY 12212 or email

COLONIE — A Latham woman has earned the top Air National Guard civilian worker award.

Amber Murray, a New York Air National Guard worker at the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarte­rs in Latham, earned the Air Force Associatio­n Lisa S. Disbrow Outstandin­g Civilian of the Year Award.

The award recognizes the exemplary work she does in support of the New York Air National Guard operations, according to Master Sgt. Ryan Campbell, a Guard spokesman.

“The award was created to annually recognize an Air Force civilian employee with less than 10 years of federal service, who exemplifie­s the profession­alism and dedication to duty of the former Under Secretary of the Air Force Lisa S. Disbrow,” Campbell said.

Murray was one of 54 nominees who represente­d 54 state and territory Air National Guards in the competitio­n, Campbell said. She will compete for the overall top Air Force honor out of more than 170,000 Air Force civilians across the world at a later date. She earned the recognitio­n while working as the management support specialist for the New York Air National Guard as well as an administra­tive aide for Maj. Gen. Denise Donnell, New York Air National Guard commander.

Chief Master Sgt. Greg Mihalko, senior enlisted leader at the Air National Guard Headquarte­rs, nominated Murray for the award.

“When I was hired at Joint Forces Headquarte­rs last September, Mrs. Murray was the first person to contact me asking if I required assistance gaining access to the Army network, shared drives and administra­tive taskings,” Mihalko said. “After I started, I saw her consistent­ly doing the same thing for everyone and never hesitated to go above and beyond.”

Mihalko also detailed Murray’s community services volunteeri­ng as a paralegal and notary public to low income families.

She notarized 63 documents at no charge and teamed with a local attorney to provide legal services. Murray also supported fundraiser­s and events that honor veterans.

“My main function is administra­tive support of the office, which helps the functional­ity of all the wings,” Murray said.

The New York Air National Guard is comprised of the 109th Airlift Wing, Scotia; the 105th Airlift Wing, Newburgh; the 106th Rescue Wing, Long Island, the 107th Attack Wing, Niagara Falls; the 174th Attack Wing, Syracuse; and the Eastern Air Defense Sector. Murray also oversees the administra­tive needs of Donnell, including travel, scheduling and daily functions.

Honor loved ones

Honor hometown heroes, help fund the building of the David T. Wallingfor­d Veterans Memorial Park and aid veterans in need at the same time by purchasing a memorial brick for $100 through the Malta Veterans Appreciati­on Program, Renee Farley of Malta, a co-founder or the organizati­on, said.

The bricks will be installed in the Wallingfor­d Park Veterans Walkway and will be dedicated during a ceremony at 1 p.m. June 4. The bricks will honor and recognize veterans — past, present and future.

Proceeds benefit Malta area veterans in need, Farley said. Her organizati­on helps veterans with heat expenses, housing, rent, food, clothing, new roofs, ramps and other needs.

When a veteran expresses a need, the group puts out a call for help to hundreds of volunteers, including profession­als, through its social media network.

“Within that group someone or a group steps up to help with anything, such as building a ramp, renovating a home, giving rides to and from medical appointmen­ts, provide medical equipment and building supplies, and food,” Farley said.

Volunteers are often needed for home repairs and renovation­s. If you are a veteran with a need or want to volunteer, contact Farley at 518-5778863

To purchase a brick online, visit Download a form and mail a check Payable to MVAP or Malta Veterans Appreciati­on Program at MVAP, 4158A Silverbeac­h Road, Malta, NY 12020.

Each brick has up to three lines and room for 20 characters on each line. Bricks can also include a military branch or other logo.

Honor Guard

The Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Associatio­n is seeking men and women veterans to become members of the Gerald Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard in Schuylervi­lle.

The Honor Guard Associatio­n provides military funeral honors for honorably discharged veterans at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.

Members volunteer usually once a week to form a squad that provides military honors for veterans being interred at the cemetery.

If interested in being trained to become an Honor Guard member, visit or call Art Dutcher at 518-253-3203.

 ?? Master Sgt. Ryan Campbell / New York Air National Guard ?? Amber Murray, civilian management support specialist, is shown on duty at the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarte­rs in Latham.
Master Sgt. Ryan Campbell / New York Air National Guard Amber Murray, civilian management support specialist, is shown on duty at the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs headquarte­rs in Latham.

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