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Community Outreach Recognition Program of:

The Veterans Museum & Memorial Center
San Diego County Veteran of the Year

Program History
Program History It is known that military veterans are excellent employees and citizens. They have outstanding work habits, are motivated, readily accept responsibility, and are team players. The "Veteran of the Year" program, established to recognize the contributions of Veterans to the San Diego community has selected a "San Diego County Veteran of the Year" since 1989. In 2001, the program expanded to encourage many civic, government, corporate, and service organizations to honor their veterans by selecting their "Veteran of the Year". From the pool of these selected Veterans of the Year, only one is honored as the "San Diego County Veteran of the Year", showing that the veterans contribute greatly to the morale of the work force, perform well in their duties, volunteer in the community and are good citizens. This program of the Veteran Museum & Memorial Center recognizes our heroes who continue to serve and contribute as our friends and neighbors.

Our program also honors one for-profit corporation with the "San Diego Meritorious Support of Veterans Award" and one non-profit agency/ organization with the "San Diego Veterans Allegiance Award" that contributes, supports and serves active duty personnel and Veterans in San Diego County. These awards and the San Diego County Veteran of the Year are announced at the "Veteran of the Year Recognition Luncheon". The SDCVOY will represent the Veteran Community at special events; Padre games, parades and other special ceremonies.

The 2014 Veteran of the Year judges selected Bill York as Veteran of the Year for the 2014-2015 year. The 2014 Allegiance Award was presented to Marine Corps League, Col. Mitchel Paige Detachment, and the 2014 Meritorious Support Award was presented to Walmart.

A special Life Time Achievement Award was presented to Charles Atkinson for his many years of service and significant achievements on behalf of Veterans. Additionally, in special recognition for the many years of service and contributions to the San Diego community by Will Hays, the special Lifetime Achievement Award will be renamed the “Will Hays Lifetime Achievement Award.” In special recognition for this honor and in acknowledging his unique and extensive contributions, Will Hays was presented the very first issue of the new award to mark the initiation of the change in the program.


San Diego County Veterans of the Year

2014 - Bill York
2013 - Randee McLain
2012 - Ron Stark &
            Tony Stewart
2011 - David Dickey
2010 - Waldo Joe Brunner
2009 - Virgil Whitehead
2008 - Allen Miliefsky
2007 - Nancy Owen &
             Bobby Price

2006 - Robert White
2005 - Bill Paxton
2004 - John Smith
2003 - Darcy Pavich
2002 - Robert Cardenas
2001 - Frank Burger
2000 - Walter Mikulich
1999 - Pete Houben
1998 - Dan Kreyling
1997 - Bill Ayers
1996 - Moses Long
1995 - Chester Swisher
1994 - Robert White
1993 - Dominick Frankville
1992 - Robert Cox
1991 - Randy "Duke" Cunningham
1990 - Richard & Ruby Lewis
1989 - Ed Struiksma

San Diego County Corporation of the Year
"San Diego Meritorious Support of Veterans Award"
2014 - Walmart
2013 - Home Depot
2012 - Life Technologies
2011 - Kratos Defense Systems
2010 - Qualcomm
2009 - Pure Bio Science
2008 - Old Town Trolley
2007 - BAE Systems
2006 - Dignity Memorial - Glen Abbey
2005 - San Diego Padres
2004 - Home Depot
2003 - Sears
2002 - City of Chula Vista
2001 - Dignity Memorial - Service Corporation International

San Diego County Non-Profit of the Year
"San Diego Veterans Allegiance Award"
2014 - Marine Corps League, Col. Mitchel Paige Detachment
2013 - Mental Health Systems
2012 - Armed Forces YMCA
2011 - Freedom Station USA and - Honor Flight – San Diego
2010 - Marine Corps League Bulldog Detachment
2009 - Disabled American Veterans
2008 - Navy Nurse Corps Association
2007 - City of Chula Vista
2006 - United Veterans Council
2005 - San Diego Bulldog Detachment #385 - Marine Corps League
2004 - Chula Vista Veterans Home Support Foundation
2003 - Vietnam Veterans of San Diego

Veteran Life Time Achievement Awards
2014 - Charles Atkinson & Will Hays
2013 - Jack Lyon
2012 - Robert Cardenas & Stuart Hedley
2011 - Oscar Polster & Pete Houven
2010 - CAPT Jack Ensch &
             Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter 3
2009 - Thomas Richards – presented by Veterans Museum & Memorial Center
2008 - No award presented
2007 - No award presented
2006 - Will Hays - Presented by United Veterans Council
2005 - John Ibe - Presented by Veterans Museum & Memorial Center
2004 - Alex Kapitanski - Presented by Veterans Museum & Memorial Center