National Guard honors Church leader

President Gordon B. Hinckley was honored June 29 by the Utah National Guard for "outstanding service and leadership to his Church, community and to the citizens of Utah."

Along with six other civilian and military leaders, President Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, was awarded the Minuteman Award during the 33rd annual Minuteman Awards Banquet at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. During the evening, those honored received a bronze Minuteman statuette, which, according to the Utah National Guard, is a "symbol of America's three-century tradition of the `volunteer citizen-soldier.' "Each award recipient also received a gold medallion bearing a representation of the Utah National Guard headquarters in nearby Draper, Utah.

Among those honoring President Hinckley and the others were Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt and Maj. Gen. John L. Matthews, Utah adjutant general. Gen. Matthews presented the awards during the banquet, sponsored by the Guard's Honorary Colonels Corps.

In presenting the awards, Gen. Matthews said that President Hinckley "descended from stock with roots deep in the soil of America. One of his forebears came to America on the Mayflower, while another served as governor of the Plymouth colonies. President Hinckley's life has always been marked by a desire to serve others . . . . His influence has impacted the lives of millions of people throughout the world."

In speaking of the award recipients, Gov. Leavitt told the Church News: "These people are being honored because they have gone beyond the scope of normal citizenship."

Also honored with President Hinckley were Gen. Matthews, who received the award as a surprise; U. Edwin Garrison, chairman of the board of Thiokol; M. Walker Wallace, founder, chairman and director of Wallace Associates; James F. Welch of the Honorary Colonels' Corps; Command Sgt. Major Duane L. Wilson of the Utah National Guard; and Pamela M. Joklik, who has served in many charitable and community organizations.

President Hinckley is among a long line of Church leaders who have received the Minuteman award in the past, including Presidents Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson. Also receiving the award in the past were Elders Dallin H. Oaks and Jeffrey R. Holland, now of the Council of the Twelve; and Elder Marion D. Hanks, formerly of the Seventy.

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