June 11, 2018

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs

ADVA Annual Award Winners

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced the department’s annual awards winners. These employees have gone beyond their call of duty and exemplify ongoing public service and advocacy efforts, demonstrating exceptional contribution and service to the veteran community in 2017.

Amari Gunn, an administrative support assistant (ASA) in Tuscaloosa County, won in the ASA category. Her nomination package notes that she is always willing to go above and beyond what is expected of her to fulfill the mission of the department.

The office was understaffed for more than a year and Gunn assisted the veterans service officer (VSO) in every way possible to support and serve veterans. The veterans and their family members received millions of dollars in financial and educational benefits during 2017 because of her well-developed applications.

Two winners were selected in the VSO category:

Robert Foshee, Covington County VSO, has assisted in filing hundreds of disability and pension claims, he has a 0 percent reported error rate. He proactively identifies and resolves challenges that could interfere with obtaining compensation and other VA benefits for his veteran population.

His skills do not end with his office work. Foshee initiated and attended numerous outreaches—during and after the work hours—to reach veterans and inform them about veterans benefits.

Angela Hunter is over the county with the largest population of veterans in the state—Jefferson County (Birmingham). She and her staff had approximately 9,531 personal contacts and filed 401 original compensation and 279 original pension applications resulting in VA financial awards for Jefferson County veterans.

During the year, Hunter experienced significant management and leadership challenges due to extreme personnel shortages and turnover, as well as having the highest workload of all field offices. She met the challenges and fulfilled all responsibilities associated with her position.

Hiliary Hardwick, director of the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home, won the veterans home super star of the year award. She has extensive knowledge of VA benefits, which she uses to go above and beyond in helping veterans and their families.

She coordinated this year’s annual Veteran’s Day program and participates with the home’s activities program and helps coordinate community volunteers. Most importantly, Hardwick shows compassion to each and every one of the veterans entrusted in her care, and knows them and their families personally.

Also, the Commissioner’s Excellence Award goes to Lynda Jenkins, District III manager, for outstanding leadership of district III and innovative veteran outreach initiatives and employee support.

  • For more information, visit http://va.alabama.gov
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