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Sailors honored for volunteer efforts

Published: Monday, July 28, 2014 9:02 a.m. CDT
The Gallery-Renken awards ends with a cake cutting ceremony featuring (left to right) Capt. Bill Bulis, commanding officer, Naval Station Great Lakes, HMC Andrew Jenkins who accepted the senior enlisted award on behalf of ADC Nancy Britton. junior officer award winner Lt. Isiah Stokes, Roycealee Wood, from the Navy League of the United States and junior enlisted award winner CE2 Claudia Mendez.

The annual Gallery-Renken awards ceremony was held at the Naval Station Great Lakes Port O’ Call, July 23.

The Rear Adm. Gallery-Rear Adm. Renken Award of Merit was established in 1989 and recognizes outstanding performance of junior officer, senior enlisted, and junior enlisted personnel who most closely demonstrate community involvement in the tradition established by Rear Admirals Gallery and Renken.

Rear Adm. William O. Gallery was one of three brothers who became U.S. Navy admirals. A Chicago native and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was a Naval aviator who served with distinction in combat during World War II.

Rear Adm. Henry A. Renken, a native of Waynesboro, Va., served 43 years in the Navy after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1931. During the invasion of Normandy in 1944, he commanded a convoy of 40 mine sweepers.

“I see daily, that our sailors are serving our community in ways that are not easily quantifiable, but are essential to the success of our society,” said Capt. Bill Bulis, Naval Station Great Lakes commanding officer. “Our sailors have the courage to care. They dare to step forward to serve as both sailors and volunteers.”

Roycealee Wood, from the Navy League of the United States, presented the awards.

“Thank all of you for your service and what you do for the United States of America,” said Wood. “We are truly blessed to have such outstanding leadership in the Navy.”

Winners of the Gallery Renken awards included CE2 Claudia Mendez, ADC Nancy Britton, and Lt. Isiah Stokes.

“I was so suprised to hear them call my name,” said Mendez. “I owe this award to my leadership and everyone at Recruit Training Command for motivating me. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be standing here with this trophy right now if it wasn’t for their support.”

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