Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Top service honor will go to fallen airman

Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, the Erwin native killed June 9 while serving in Afghanistan, will be named the Distinguished Service Award recipient during the fourth annual Record of Service Awards Thursday, Aug. 26.
The annual awards dinner will also name honorees in Business, Health Care, Education, Emergency Services, Public Service and Service to the Community. Those award recipients are nominated by the community and are not announced until the night of the event, but The Erwin Record, which founded the Record of Service Awards in 2007, chooses the annual recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and announces those honorees in advance of the dinner.
Past recipients for Distinguished Service have been U.S. Rep. David Davis, 2007; former Erwin Mayor Russell Brackins and former Unicoi County Executive Paul Monk, 2008; and Erwin historians Martha Erwin and Lou and Kathy Thornberry, 2009.
White’s family will be presented with his award at the gala dinner set to honor all the award recipients at the Unicoi United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center Thursday, Aug. 26, at 6:30 p.m.
“There just wasn’t any question on who should be named the Distinguished Service recipient this year,” said Publisher Mark A. Stevens. “Senior Airman White gave his life for his country, and he died a hero, trying to save others. If that’s not Distinguished Service, I don’t know what is.
“His death brought not only the Unicoi County community together but the entire region, as well, collectively mourning the death of an extraordinary young man. When we created the Record of Service Awards in 2007, the goal was to honor those from our community who strive to make Unicoi County a better place. Through his devotion to his country, Senior Airman White helped make the world a better place.”
The Erwin Record will be joined this year by a new co-sponsor, the Rotary Club of Unicoi County, whose motto is “Service Above Self.” Contributing sponsors include Nuclear Fuel Services, Walmart and Lauré.
Tickets for the event, which must be purchased in advance, are $12.50 each. The meal is catered by Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
The event also serves as a fundraiser for community organizations. The Clinchfield Senior Adult Center and the Unicoi County Humane Society will each once again receive a $1,000 check, courtesy of Walmart as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Record of Service Awards.