Offutt volunteer represents Air Force for Spirit of Hope Award

  • Published
  • By Mr. Miles Brown
  • HQ AFWA Public Affairs
Air Force Personnel Center officials recently announced a member of the Air Force Weather Agency here as the Air Force nominee for the 2007 U.S. Armed Forces Spirit of Hope Award.

Master Sgt. Lou Pell, NCO in charge of the Weather Agency's training branch, was selected as the Air Force representative to compete with nominees from the four other services for the award to be presented by the secretary of Defense Nov. 19 at the Pentagon.

Sergeant Pell has spent 21 of his 24 years on active duty in the weather career field. He currently leads a 15-person branch of military and civilian weather professionals who provide non-formal training solutions to improve the performance of 3,800 Air Force weather watchers at 260 worldwide locations. This is accomplished through qualification training packages, instructional publications, computer-based training, and interactive web solutions.

The Spirit of Hope Award is presented annually to men and women of the armed forces, entertainers and other distinguished Americans and organizations whose service to troops reflects the dedication and commitment of the late Bob Hope, a comedian, movie and television star, entertainer and patriot.

Mr. Hope was designated the first honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces for his decades of entertaining troops, both in peacetime and in combat zones. This honor was bestowed by Congress, signed into law by President William J. Clinton, and first presented in 1997.

Those who have received the award include President George H.W. Bush, Sen. John Glenn, Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Walter Cronkite and Ann Margret.

"I'm really honored to have been nominated for this award," Sergeant Pell said. "I did not expect to compete at the Air Force level. To be honest, I see all of the volunteer work so many amazing people here in the Air Force Weather Agency do, both on and off base, and I'm truly humbled. I enjoy being a part of an organization that gives so much back to our community."

Sergeant Pell has volunteered more than 350 hours of personal time in service to others. Additionally, he helped raise more than $200,000 for worthy causes such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"If you need help, Lou is there; rain or shine. When the call goes out for volunteers, Lou is always one of the first to raise his hand," said Col. Ray Clark, the vice commander of the Air Force Weather Agency. "With his spirit of good will and volunteerism that is second-to-none, Lou exemplifies the values and character of Mr. Hope."