Albany Times Union
Latham woman earns top Guard award
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 www.maltavets.com. 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.
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 https://snchga.org/ or call Art Dutcher at 518-253-3203.