Dale Punch, commander of American Legion Post 30, always a high profile leader in the support of our armed forces, was recently recognized with the Patrick Henry Award. This honor provides recognition to local leaders who distinguish themselves with outstanding and exceptional service to the Armed Forces of the United States. An individual must have provided exceptionally strong support for the National Guard to merit this award. The support must be such that the readiness and the future of the Guard have been positively affected.
Punch received the award from the National Guard Association of the United States for his positive effect, superior performance and support of the armed forces, Gen. Major Gen. William E. Ingram Jr. said when Punch was presented the award last week.
â€œI canâ€™t think of a person anymore deserving than Dale Punch,â€ said Ingram.
Ingram also had words of praise for Lincolntonâ€™s C Battery. He went to Iraq recently and saw members of the 30th Brigade, which includes the local National Guard company. â€œThese guys are just doing a phenomenal job of taking care of business,â€ he said
Punch, a Vietnam veteran, has repeatedly demonstrated his support for our military forces, particularly for those men and women now on assignment in Iraq. He helped organize a drive that sent hundreds of gift packages to members of Lincolntonâ€™s National Guard unit, and is an active supporter of families in the region who have relatives on active duty.
The only other North Carolinian to receive the award was Rep. Ray Rap, a dean at Mars Hill College. Only 31 individuals in the nation, many of them elected officials, were recipients.
Punch is a leader in Lincoln Countyâ€™s large population of veterans who so often show the patriotic character of our community. He deserves the recognition.