A New Jersey radio amateur and Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) member has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from President Donald Trump. ARRL Charter Life Member Dave Popkin, W2CC/AAR2BU, was recognized for his extraordinary contributions as a MARS volunteer.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for your lifetime of service to your fellow Americans and those most in need,” President Trump said. “Through at least 4,000 hours of service, you have ensured the continuation of America’s unparalleled commitment to improving the lives of others. You have served as a model of the American spirit. Your many hours of service have strengthened the bonds of cooperation and trust that bring people together, while helping to address some of the greatest challenges of our time.”
MARS Region 2 Director Carver Washburn, W2TFM/AAA2RD, said Popkin’s “long and distinguished” history as a volunteer extends over 56 years with US Army MARS, averaging some 2,000 hours a year.
“Dave is particularly noted for his MARS leadership roles, mentoring, and training initiatives,” Washburn noted. “It all started with his inspiration and his motivation to take positive action that, to this day, has fundamentally enhanced the ability of [the Department of Defense] to achieve its goals under the most dire of circumstances, such as occurred in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria in September 2017.”
Washburn said Popkin served as net control for MARS radio nets in Region 2, and has served as MARS New Jersey State Director.
“Also evident were his unique talents to train and mentor these team members, substantially expanding the strength of the organization,” Washburn said. “Dave made a difference in innovative ways through this role. He worked on the HQ senior staff for many years as well. Chief Army MARS Paul English and I are most grateful for his long and valued MARS service.”
A former FCC field inspector who also served as an ARRL Official Observer, Popkin has made similar contributions to Amateur Radio, Washburn said, citing Popkin’s years of leadership with the New Jersey Phone Net and with the Englewood Cliffs (New Jersey) Amateur Radio Club’s ARRL Field Day operation.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award is a civilian honor bestowed by the President of the United States. Established by executive order by George W. Bush, the award was established to honor volunteers who give hundreds of hours per year helping others through the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The award can be granted to individuals, families and organizations in the US to recognize more than 4,000 hours of extraordinary service as a volunteer. — Thanks to Carver Washburn, W2TFM/AAA2RD
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