/PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, nearly 630 people gathered to honor the National Defense University Foundation's 2009 American Patriot Award recipients: General David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Men and Women of CENTCOM. The event, one of Washington, D.C.'s most prestigious galas, was held on Friday, November 13, 2009, in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
Program participants for the 2009 American Patriot Award Gala included honoree General David Petraeus, USA, General Ann Dunwoody, USA, and General John Rogers Galvin, USA (Ret). Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist Ski Johnson performed live. Leon Harris, Anchor of ABC 7/WJLA-TV, emceed the event.
Five military heroes accepted the American Patriot Award on behalf of their services, along with General David Petraeus, USA. The five heroes included: CSM Rocky Shapla, USA; CDR Stephen Hall, USN; GYSGT Josue Magana, USMC; Tech. Sgt. Timothy R. Evans, USAF; LCDR Holly Harrison, USCG.
Notable guests included White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; LTG Dennis Via, USA, Director, C4 Systems (J6) Joint Chiefs of Staff; and, National Defense University President VADM Ann E. Rondeau, USN; Members of Congress, the Administration, and Diplomatic Community; and past and present Armed Forces Service Heroes. The Gala was attended by more than 600 guests.
More than 40 "patriots" from all five branches of the military service attended this year's celebration, through the "Sponsor a Patriot" program. Many of these young patriots recently returned from Iraq, Afghanistan or other overseas deployments. Some are recovering from injury sustained while deployed; others are actively serving their country on military installations and in communities across America
Beyond honoring the recipients, the Gala supports National Defense University (NDU) and its crucial mission of educating national security leaders. Students of NDU are the next generation of ambassadors, national and international military commanders and civilian defense industry leaders -- patriots who have committed their lives to furthering the security of our nation and the world.
"Paying tribute to General Petraeus and the service men and women who put their lives at risk every day to safeguard our national security is the focus of this year's National Defense University Foundation's American Patriot Award," said Walter Stadtler, Ambassador (Ret), President and CEO, National Defense University Foundation. "These unsung heroes are the ultimate patriots and are most deserving of this award."
Previous recipients of the American Patriot Award include: The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger; General Colin Powell; The Honorable Caspar Weinberger; former President George H.W. Bush; The Men and Women of our Nation's Defense Team; The Honorable Bob Dole; The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye; The Honorable Ted Stevens; The Honorable John Glenn; The Honorable John Warner; and The Honorable Ike Skelton.
IBM is the Patriot Sponsor for this year's Gala. Eagle Sponsors include: C4 Enterprises, LLC; Lockheed Martin Corporation; and, Raytheon Company. Liberty Sponsors include: Agility Defense & Government Services; The Boeing Company; Caterpillar Inc.; EADS North America, Inc.; G4S Wackenhut and WSI; L-3 Communications Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; William D. Smythe Family Foundation; and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
The National Defense University Foundation, Inc. was established in 1982 to support and enhance the mission and goals of the National Defense University through promoting excellence and innovation in education by nurturing high standards of scholarship, leadership and professionalism.
The National Defense University is the country's preeminent institution for military, diplomatic and civilian national security education, research and outreach. It is the only university providing a common educational experience for all the various professional communities engaged in national security. The main campus is located at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.ndufoundation.org.
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