Coast Guard member to receive national award in Washington, D.C.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A local Coast Guard member will receive an award at the 5th Annual National Latina Symposium in Washington, D.C., Sep. 5, 2008.

Cdr. Mariapaz Smith, a dental officer stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Va., was selected as the Coast Guard’s military recipient of the National Latina Distinguished Service Award.

The award recognizes the achievements and contributions of military and civilian members to the educational, economic and social needs of the Hispanic community.

Smith has volunteered her services for the U.S. Public Health Service’s humanitarian mission aboard the USS Boxer to Peru in which she helped treat 120 patients in five days as a member of the Liga Flying Doctors of Mercy, organizing Club De Hispano Parlantes to mentor in the Hispanic community, serves as preceptor for the Boston University School of Dentistry, and frequently promotes the value and importance of a military career.

“I feel very proud and honored to be recognized and to receive this award,” said Smith, a native of Mexico City, “I really thank the Coast Guard and my supervisors for taking the time to nominate me for this award.”

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