Coast Guard aviator named enlisted person of the year

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen M. Sanders, a Smithfield, N.C., native and a member of Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., was named Thursday the 2008 Active Duty Enlisted Person of the Year.

Sanders has been a member of the air station since June 1, 2006, and has served a total of nine years in the Coast Guard. In 2008 he demonstrated responsibility beyond expectation of his rank. He initiated and oversaw $45,000 in renovations to spaces and tools for the air station corrosion and metal shops. These modernizations improved the quality and efficiency of composite and metal repairs and significantly reduced respiratory hazards for other Coast Guard members.

Sanders completed a critical helicopter repair, normally performed by technical repair crews from the aircraft manufacturer. He photographed and documented every step in the repair process and developed a presentation used for training other members in the repair procedure.

Sanders spearheaded a winter coat drive campaign and increased donations. The crew of Air Station Atlantic City was able to deliver more than 130 winter clothing items to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.

“It’s pretty humbling”, said Sanders. “This is the award other people get, not me.”

Sanders will be recognized during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., the week of June 8, 2009.

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