Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

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Candice Miller receives prestigious Truman Award from National Guard

by Candice Miller on October 26, 2012

By Chad Selweski Macomb Daily http://www.macombdaily.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121016/news01/121019657&template=printart

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller on Tuesday became the nation’s first woman to win the prestigious Truman Award, in recognition of her successful efforts to raise the National Guard’s status in the Pentagon and to derail substantial budget cuts targeted at the Air National Guard.

In a ceremony held in Chesterfield Township during the Selfridge Base Community Council meeting, Ret. Gen. Gus Hargett, president of the National Guard Association of the United States, presented the Harrison Township Republican with the honor. Established in 1968 and named after former president Harry S. Truman, the award recognizes “contributions of exceptional and far-reaching magnitude” in protecting the defense and security of the nation.

It is the highest honor conferred by the National Guard Association. Previous recipients include Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole.

“What I like about Candice Miller,” Hargett said, “is that she’s not about words, she’s about action.” Hargett and Maj. Gen. Greg Vadnais, the Michigan National Guard commander, praised Miller’s dogged approach to winning congressional support for elevation of the Guard to Joint Chiefs of Staff status

. As a result, the Guard now has a seat at the table with the Joint Chiefs and a voice in final Pentagon decision-making. The congresswoman was also saluted for her forceful opposition last spring to the sharp budget cuts targeted at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township and other Air Guard bases across the nation. The Air Force backed off – at least for one year.

“It was a dogfight but she was unrelenting and she got us into the end zone,” said Vadnais. “The governor (Rick Snyder) talks about ‘relentless positive action’ – that’s her. She just never gives up, she doesn’t accept no for an answer, and she just keeps on fighting.”

After receiving the honor and a standing ovation, Miller gave a brief speech in which she saluted the troops and said the National Guard has served as “the tip of the spear” since the earliest days of the Minutemen of colonial America.

The award, encased in glass, features small pewter statues of the Minutemen from each of the original 13 colonies, highlighting the differences in each militia’s uniforms. Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, who also was a Capitol Hill standout in the Guard’s battles with the Pentagon, was a co-recipient of this year’s Truman Award.

Joe Hallman, the outspoken president of the Base Community Council, said he rejects any complaints from Democrats that Miller should not receive the award at a time when she is seeking re-election in three weeks.

“We have been accused by some of being the campaign managers for Rep. Miller’s campaign,” Hallman said. “Let me assure you, if anyone is as diligent as she is in supporting the troops and Selfridge and they receive an award of this magnitude, give me a call. We will invite you to our next business meeting.”

Maj. Gen. Greg Vadnais, left, Michigan Air National Guard commander, Rep. Candice Miller, and Ret. Gen. Gus Hargett of the National Guard Association, admire the Truman Award presented to Miller.

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