U.S. Rep. awards Cannon youths

By Jack King: CNJ staff writer

Two Cannon Air Force Base youths received Congressional Award bronze medals Monday from U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., during a town hall meeting in the Clovis-Carver Public Library’s North Annex.

Patrick Adams and Collin Randall each completed 100 hours of volunteer service, 50 hours of personal development, 50 hours of physical fitness training and at least one overnight expedition to earn the medals.

The Congressional Award is a public partnership created by Congress to promote and recognize achievement, initiative, and service in America’s youth, according to its Web site.

Adams, the son of Master Sgt. Keith Adams and Elaine Adams, volunteered as a mentor for two base youth groups and worked with the elderly. His personal development project involved earning money to collect Lord of the Rings collectable action figures and, for physical fitness, he improved his soccer skills. Adams is on the varsity soccer team at Clovis High School. He also planned and completed a camping trip to Lake Meredith in Texas.

Randall, the son of Command Chief Master Sgt. James Randall and Norma Randall, worked at the Family Support Center and in the base youth center Boys and Girls Clubs.

He improved his guitar and song-writing skills, and ran and lifted weights. He also planned and completed a trip to the Grand Canyon.

Both said they earned the Congressional Award to improve their chances on getting into good colleges.

During a question and answer period afterward, Joy Armstrong asked Udall to help create a dental college in northeastern New Mexico to improve access to affordable dental care. Udall urged her to stay in touch with his office on the issues.

Dan Williams, a health educator for the New Mexico Department of Health, asked him to help get a regional alcohol treatment center in eastern New Mexico. Udall said most such treatment centers are started by the state, which then asks for federal money.

Randy Crowder, a Clovis city commissioner and home builder, asked Udall for help with the Ute Pipeline Project and for his support on two construction-related issues now before Congress: A House resolution supporting home ownership tax credits and a Senate Bill mandating an investigation into the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Freddie Mac, another federal mortgage corporation.

Udall told Crowder he has always supported efforts to provide affordable housing. He said the entire New Mexico delegation supports the Ute Water Project and that it is important that communities in the area work together to support it.

Dennis Lopez, chairman of the Roosevelt County Commission, asked Udall for help in forwarding priority capital requests. Udall said entities seeking federal money should first look for grants, but could also send capital outlay requests to his office.

Udall is on a two-week swing through New Mexico during Congress’s two-week Easter recess. He will also visit Tucumcari, Las Vegas, Taos, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque and Los Alamos before returning to Washington, said Udall staff member Peter Wells.

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