YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA/KECY) - The Yuma County Chamber Of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee honored several active service members for their outstanding leadership Wednesday morning.
The awards were originally scheduled to take place at the Caballeros De Yuma annual Independence Day flag-raising ceremony, but like many other events in the Desert Southwest, COVID-19 forced the event to go virtual.
The switch to a virtual event left this year's award recipients, who are stationed at either MCAS Yuma or Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), without getting recognized for their outstanding leadership. .
“It's nice pat on the back for doing the right thing," said Staff Sgt. Melvin Bullard. "I'm always continuing to work hard and do everything, it’s small things that help you get by."
Staff Sgt. Bullard was awarded the Yuma Probing Ground Non-Commissioned Officer of The Year Award. Staff Sgt. Bullard was also this week's 13 On Your Side Military Matters honoree.
But the manpower at YPG wasn't the only one recognized, lady power was also given recognition for existing at the testing center in Yuma's backyard.
“It means a lot to me that my work has been appreciated," said Army Spc. Kiley Keswick.
Spc. Keswick was named 'Soldier Of The Year" by her colleagues at YPG, something that empowers her to encourage future generations of servicemembers.
"It makes me want to work harder in the future," said Spc. Keswick. "Don't be scared of everyone out there, there is someone that is appreciative of you."
Both Staff Sgt. Bullard and Spc. Keswick is stationed at Yuma Proving Ground.