A chaplain assistant from the 163d Reconnaissance Wing was awarded a California Legislature assembly Resolution at a ceremony held at March ARB, Calif., on July 12, 2013.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Stephens received the award in recognition of his selection as Air National Guard Honor Guardsman of the Year.
Distinguished visitors in attendance included 163 RW Vice Commander Lt. Col. Douglas Weskamp, Menifee Mayor Scott Mann, and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nico Melendez, husband of California Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, 67th Assembly District, who presented the resolution on his wife’s behalf.
“My wife and I have a combined 32 years of service in the military,” said Melendez. “I’ll probably be retired in the next five or 10 years. So for us to see young people like Staff Sgt. Stephens coming up through the ranks, it reassures us in the leadership knowing that there are quality individuals to take our place.”
Co-workers, friends and family were on hand to celebrate the occasion with Stephens, who credited much of his success to his wife, Sarah.
“I’m so proud of him, and he’s such a hard worker,” she said. “It’s easy to stand behind someone like that.”
The two met from a chance encounter at church several years ago. Stephens also attributes much of his achievements and blessings in life to his faith.
“I want to thank God,” said Stephens, as he accepted the award. “Spiritual resiliency has been the secret to my military success.”