By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sam Souvannason
EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- The Snohomish County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) will honor local veterans at their 6th annual "Day of Honor" awards luncheon Friday, May 23.
This year's recipient of the Distinguished Armed Services Member award is Lt. Cmdr. Edward Alexander, USS Nimitz (CVN 68)'s 1st Lieutenant.
"Lieutenant Commander Alexander has proven himself to be an outstanding Sailor and effective leader in the United States Navy," said Raymond Miller, vice-president of the Snohomish County Branch NAACP. "He has demonstrated through his actions that he supports the mission of the NAACP."
Alexander arrived on board Nimitz in January 2013, and is frequently seen throughout the ship as someone who won't let you get away without a friendly greeting.
"The NAACP is a great organization and has been for a long time," said Alexander. "I was very excited and honored when I found out they were going to recognize me for this award."
However, he never thought he was being considered as a candidate for this award.
"I remember a few weeks ago that I had given a tour of the ship for some local judges as well as members of the local chapter of the NAACP," said Alexander. "One of the tour members had taken a particular interest in my career and my thoughts on the area. That man happened to be Mr. Raymond Miller, president of the chapter and was the one who nominated me for the award."
Alexander enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and has received a variety of Navy awards, including the Joint Commendation Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
"I've received a lot of awards throughout my career in the Navy, but this one is particularly satisfying because I'm being recognized by my community," said Alexander. "It really means a lot."
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is America's oldest and most prominent civil rights organization and has carved a path of equality in our nation and our military ranks.
"Without the accomplishments of the NAACP I would not have had the opportunities that I've had in the Navy so far," said Alexander. "I'm honored to continue making the Navy a better organization using the strength of diversity."