Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — The Jefferson Award is given to people across the country for their outstanding dedication to public service.
For this Jefferson Award, Captain Chaplin wanted to surprise the commander for the Myrtle Beach Civil Air Patrol squadron, Tom Reid. "He welcomes everybody. And doesn't see an unhappy face."
"I don't think Civil Air Patrol in Myrtle Beach would be where it is today, if it hadn't been for him giving up his time," said Chaplin.
"I'd like to present you with this month's Jefferson Award," said Chaplin, as he put the medal around his neck.
"I didn't do anything to deserve this," said Reid.
Reid has been with CAP in Myrtle Beach for 15 years, six as commander.
"Why do I like it? You just saw the group standing outside. Those cadets there," said Commander Reid.
The Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
It is best known for helping with search and rescues, aerospace education, and its cadet program, ages 12 to 21.
"I like working with the cadets. I like seeing what happens with them. We do teach them leadership. We do teach them drill," said Reid. "We had a few years ago, I was very happy, that we had two cadets from our squadron, ended up going to the Air Force academy."
"Everybody respects him and they know that he's there for them," said First Lieutenant Brittany Wilkinson.
Wilkinson has been in CAP for five years and wants to join the Air Force.
She says Reid has inspired so many young people.
"He is an amazing man. And he is a role model for me, especially," said Wilkinson.
"My biggest joy is watching them succeed in life," said Reid.
That is why commander Reid is this month's Jefferson Award winner.
To nominate an outstanding volunteer in your community for the Jefferson Award, click here.