New York Air Guard Commander visits Hancock Field to present award to Lt. Col. Ed Cook

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Duane Morgan
  • 174th Attack Wing
Maj. Gen. Verle L. Johnston, New York Air National Guard Commander, visited here on March 3, 2013 to present Lt. Col. Edward W. Cook Jr., Commander of the 174th Attack Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron, with the Colonel Governour Morris Citizen Soldier Award and to participate in a base-wide commander's call.

The Colonel Governour Morris Citizen Soldier Award is presented annually to a member of the New York State Organized Militia who has distinguished him or herself through outstanding support to the New York National Guard, his or her local community or the state of New York.

"It's extremely important that we're involved in our community," said Johnston. "And more so than the things Ed has done militarily, is the example he's been to all of us with his involvement in the community." 

Cook has been active for many years in the Salvation Army, Leadership Greater Syracuse and the CNY Political Leadership Institute. He is also a defensive driving instructor, soccer coach and volunteer firefighter.

Additionally, Cook has deployed seven times to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He most recently served as the Director of Logistics at the combined forces special operations component command in Afghanistan from August 2011- February 2012. For his service he was awarded the Joint Service Accommodation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.

"When you're involved in your community, you strengthen your community, you strengthen your families and you strengthen individuals" said Johnston. "I just want to thank Ed for being a great example to us."

Johnston also took time to talk to the members of Hancock Field about the federal government's sequestration process and how it would affect the members in the future.  "Even though we are in a situation, things will somehow get resolved," said Johnston. "We hope this will have minimal impacts on the folks here at Hancock."

Finally, Johnston spoke about the good work that all the units at Hancock Field are going. "You guys are great. You are making a difference in the lives of American troops every single day.  Keep up the good work," said Johnston. "We're proud of you at state headquarters."