At the 25th annual Pennsylvania National Guard conference, Army Spc. Desirea R. Gardiner was honored as Pennsylvania's Soldier of the Year and Army Sgt. Christopher A. Grabowski was honored as Non-commissioned Officer of the Year. Each soldier was awarded the Army Commendation Medal by Maj. Gen. Jessica Wright, Pennsylvania adjutant general.
Gary Fry, past commander of the AMVETS Department of Pennsylvania, also took part in the evening's events by presenting Gardiner and Grabowski with engraved non-commissioned officers' sabers on behalf of AMVETS Department of Pennsylvania in recognition of each soldier's demonstrated leadership.
Air National Guard Airman of the Year, Senior Airman Brent Beckner, was serving overseas at the time of the conference. He will also receive a commendation from Maj. Gen. Wright and an engraved saber from AMVETS at a special ceremony later this year.
(Photos: Top: Spc. Gardiner, along with her AMVETS sabre, poses for a photo with Gary Fry and Maj. Gen. Wright during the Pennsylvania National Guard Conference in May 2009. Bottom: Sgt. Grabowski, along with his AMVETS sabre, also poses for a photo with Fry and Wright during the conference. Photos courtesy of Judy Fry and the AMVETS Department of Pennsylvania.)