Awards and Honors

United States Air Force: The American Spirit Award

The Air Force announcement of the award states:

The organizer of the largest event honoring armed forces veterans in the state of Missouri has been named winner of the Air Force's American Spirit Award.

Mary McCleary Posner, a Columbia. Mo. businesswoman, was presented the award during the annual Memorial Day Weekend Corporation's Salute to Veterans Celebration in mid-Missouri. The American Spirit Award is presented by the Air Force Recruiting Service to civilians and civilian organizations who consistently exhibit the highest principles of patriotism and service to the nation. It is the Recruiting Service's highest form of civilian recognition.

General Lloyd W. Newton, USAF, Commander of Air Education and Training Command presented the award to Mrs. Posner during one of two days of free airshows held during the six-day event. General Newton attended the 10th Anniversary of the Salute to Veterans Celebration as an Honored Guest. Posner joins an impressive list of distinguished Americans previously presented the award, including entertainers Lee Greenwood and Dolly Patton, radio personality Paul Harvey and former U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Comedian Bob Hope received the first award in 1980.

"Through her selfless actions, Mary Posner exemplifies the very best of the American Spirit," said Col. Peter Sutton, commander of Air Force Recruiting Service here. "She is the driving force behind the annual Salute to Veterans, which honors veterans of all American conflicts and has become the largest event of its kind in the nation."

The Salute to Veterans Celebration, in the city of Columbia, Mo. includes two days of airshows, a parade, a school visit program and memorial ceremonies attended by more than 100,000 visitors. Posner also works hand-in-hand with local recruiters to increase awareness of the contributions of the military and to spread the word about military opportunities for young people.

Upon receiving the award, Posner said, "More than 3000 volunteers and 65 committee chairmen are involved in organizing this event each year, and I accept this award on their behalf."

Posner was Missouri Chairman for the Korean War Veterans Memorial that was dedicated in Washington, D.C. In 1990, she was awarded honorary membership in the Korean War Veterans Association, an honor she shares with Bob Hope and former President Reagan.

2003: Department of the Army: The Outstanding Civilian Service Medal

The citation states:

Mary McCleary Posner is awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for outstanding contributions to the United States Army Recruiting Command in 1999 and 2000. Through her selfless service and untiring efforts, she has enhanced the public perception of the Army in the state of Missouri and expanded opportunities for Army recruiters in the community. She is a true patriot of the first magnitude.

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U.S. Army: Award of Excellence

The U.S. Army chose again to honor Mary McCleary Posner for her support of the Armed Forces. Click on the certificate to see it in detail.


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2004: Heart of America Tuskegee Airmen: Honorary Membership

The Tuskegee Airmen selected Mary Posner on behalf of the Salute to Veterans corporation as an honorary member.The certificate states, "For outstanding support to the Tuskegee Airmen during Annual Memorial Day Weekend Salute to Veterans Celebrations."


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2004: Missouri National Guard: Conspicuous Service Medal

The Missouri National Guard has honored Mary Posner with the Conspicuous Service Award. It reads in part, "Mrs. Posner has repeatedly distinguished herself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States and the Missouri National Guard. For a decade and a half, she has been the driving force of an organization dedicated to recognizing and honoring contributions of all who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States. " Please click on the citation or the medal for a larger view.

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