USA: Young Patriot’s Club Hands Over First Annual “Heart of a Hero” Award
The Young Patriot’s Club of Navy Hale Keiki School (NHKS) presented the first annual “Heart of a Hero” award to Hawaii resident and WWII veteran retired Rear Adm. Lloyd “Joe” Vasey at an awards ceremony at NHKS, May 17.
The idea of the Heart of a Hero award was designed and generated by the students in grades first through forth of NHKS Young Patriot’s Club to honor local military heroes. Vasey was chosen to be the first recipient based on his military service and heroic attributes such as bravery, honesty and selfless contributions to the community.
“This award is very special to me because it was presented by students that represent the future of America,” said Vasey. “These children displayed true patriotism, and I am very honored to be here today.”
Rear Adm. Vasey’s naval career allowed him a wide spectrum of assignments starting on the Iowa-class battle ship USS Missouri (BB-63) on which he was part of the original crew making him a plank owner. He went on to serve on various ships and submarines which included the Gato-class submarine, USS Gunnel (SS-253), where he served as the Executive Officer for their forth war patrol from May 1944 to July 1944, commander of the supply ship USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) from 1961-1962 and commanding officer of the all-gun heavy cruiser, USS St. Paul (CA-73) from Sept. 1964 to June 1965.
NHKS Young Patriot’s Club founder and group mentor, Monique Raduziner, created the club in 2007 to offer students a chance to recognize and increase their awareness and importance of the history that surrounds their school that greatly serves the military community.
Students received instructions from Sailors from Naval Submarine Support Command on how to render honors and proudly “rang aboard” and saluted Vasey as part of the day’s ceremonies.
“The Young Patriot’s Club wanted to honor a true hero, and when they learned the history about Rear Adm. Vasey, they knew right then that he would be the perfect recipient for this award,” said Raduziner. “The excitement and enthusiasm they displayed while doing their research truly showed that they all thought that he definitely has a heart of a hero.”
Naval Today Staff , May 21, 2012; Image: Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet