Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder presented Tony Gallagher of Sedalia with the Lieutenant Governor’s Veterans Service Award on Oct. 18, in recognition of his tireless volunteerism in the Sedalia area.
Lt. Governor Kinder made the presentation at the Pettis County Courthouse in Sedalia. Gallagher was nominated for the award by The Sedalia Democrat’s Latisha Koetting of Sedalia.
“As a young man, when his nation called, Tony Gallagher answered that call, serving in the U.S. Army,” Kinder said. “Like many of Missouri’s veterans, his service didn’t end when his hitch in the Army was over.
Gallagher has given countless hours of volunteer service through his work with the Sedalia chapter of the 40 & 8 veterans’ organization. With his leadership, the local chapter has grown to become one of the biggest in the nation. The 40 & 8 sponsors Sedalia’s downtown flag program, raises scholarship money for local nurses and raised fund to purchase new playground equipment at E.W. Thompson State School.
Gallagher also rallied the organization to help the families of Joe Yants, who was injured by a bomb while on combat patrol in Afghanistan, and Billy Joe Siercks, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan.
“Through Tony’s leadership, Sedalia’s 40 & 8 chapter has earned recognition for the city’s patriotism,” Kinder said. “In 2010, the national 40 & 8 named Sedalia its “City of the Year.”
In her nomination, Koetting cited Gallagher’s “countless hours” visiting veterans at area hospitals and his help in creating the Veterans Day Parade in Sedalia.
“This is a man who beams pride for this country and for his community,” Koetting added. “He continues to give back on a daily basis, and I am so proud to know him.”
Kinder received 140 nominations for the award, which recognizes Missouri veterans who provide exemplary volunteer service to their communities. Gallagher received an official declaration from the lieutenant governor’s office recognizing his service.
“The same strong sense of duty and patriotism you showed in your service to your nation, you now show in your commitment to Sedalia,” Kinder said. “(This award) is just one small way our state can say ‘Thank you’ to our veterans and honor the sacrifices they continue to make for their communities and their state.”