This week, extraordinary federal employees from across the government gathered in one room where their accomplishments were celebrated.
The breakfast, conducted annually as part of Public Service Recognition Week, honored the finalists of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, known as the “Sammies.” Choosing these finalists from among hundreds of submissions was no easy task. I know this firsthand, because as a member of the selection committee I will once again help pick the winners, who will be announced this fall at a gala reception.
Reading their stories, it’s hard not to be awestruck by these federal employees. They are pioneers and innovators. They save money and they save lives. They proudly serve the American people.
This year’s finalists have helped keep dangerous chemicals our of our lakes and waterways; restored $600 million to people defrauded by money transfer scams; developed a promising vaccine that could one day prevent the Zika virus; distributed $1.4 billion in emergency food assistance to 20 million people in four nations; and so much more.
Beyond these 27 finalists are tens of thousands of highly-skilled, mission-focused federal employees who are performing the essential day-to-day work of government. They may not be making big headlines or getting medals, but their work makes our country safer, healthier and more prosperous. They are guarding our borders, safeguarding the food we eat, administering the school lunch program so children don’t go hungry, answering taxpayer questions, ensuring the safety of our natural resources, health, food supply, financial systems and more. They are proud NTEU members who work quietly, day-in and day-out, and we are making sure you and your work are not overlooked. Stay tuned this year, as we roll out the next phase in our ongoing public service campaign to tell your stories to the American people.
Once again, thank you for everything you do for our country.