Vote for Your Favorite Chevrolet Military Salute Washington, D.C. Finalist!
By: Quinn Bryner
November 2, 2011 9:45 am ET
You nominated them, and now you can show your support for the Washington, D.C., metro area military service members by casting your vote for one of the Chevrolet Military Salute Washington, D.C. finalists!
With so many worthy nominations, we had a tough time narrowing the finalists down to just five so we decided to include two more! Review the story of each of the seven finalists and cast your ballot for your favorite. The military service member who receives the most votes will be honored with a true red, white and blue hometown celebration filled with friends, family and of course, some Chevrolets!
Voting will take place from Wednesday, November 2 through Wednesday, November 9, via the GM Northeast poll below or by texting CHEVYVOTE to 877877. So vote early (please note one vote per IP address) and encourage others to do the same by spreading the word via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #chevydcsalute. Voting will end at 6 p.m. on November 9.
Meet the Finalists
Benjamin Ferguson’s wife Misty says: Ben inspires me every day. After multiple injuries during deployments he still has a passion and vigor for his job. At the time when most of the people we knew were calling it quits and leaving the service, he has stayed true and continued to do the job he is great at, knowing more deployments would be in his future. He is also a wonderful father to his son. After missing the first year of our son’s life, he jumped in with both feet and has diligently been there every step since. After working 12-14 hour days, he still comes home and is ready to read stories and put our son to bed. I cherish each minute they and we spend together as a family.
Col. Robert Kwalwasser’s wife Joan Marie says: Bob was a first responder to the Twin Towers on 9/11/01 as a Sergeant with the NYPD. As a reservist he was activated 3 days after 9/11 and went to DC. He drove back and forth from DC to NY every weekend to see his wife and 3 kids for a year. He retired from the NYPD (21 Years) and continued with the USAF. As a Reservist, he was deployed in 2005 and 2009. He has moved his family from NY to VA. His second deployment was due to another service member’s wife falling ill and Bob stepping in so that man could be with his ill wife. He never had a retirement party from NYPD because he was activated in DC. He never had a promotion party to Colonel because he was deployed at the time. He is the most dedicated, selfless and amazing person his children and I know. He puts the needs of others before himself. He is dedicated and devoted to his family, country and friends. He is an inspiration as a hero, dad and leader. He ran toward the towers that day and continues to serve his country daily, never questioning his task but knowing he is doing the right thing. On November 10, 2011 at Yankee Staduim, Colonel Robert Kwalwasser will retire after 30 years service USAF. He inspires me daily with his devotion to his country and his family. His choice of careers (NYPD and USAF) says it all.
Sgt. Timothy McLaughlin’s friend Mark writes: I have known Tim McLaughlin for almost 40 years and as I think back on our friendship I realize that he always wanted to be a soldier. He joined the US Marines right out of high school. After his four years of service, he joined the VA Nat’l Guard and was a Guardsman for 15 years! After the September 11 attacks, he was with his daughter at a recruiting station to see about her prospects in military service. Turns out that Tim re-enlisted! He has spent one tour in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan. He is humbled by his experiences, and has always displayed the spirit and regard that reflects our nation’s mission in standing firm against all threats, at home or around the world. He is my inspiration as a citizen of our country, of the world, and as a gentleman.
Friends of Barbara A. Pittman describe her as U.S. Air Force retired veteran, currently the Veterans Benefits Special Assistant in the Office of Veterans Affairs – Government of the District of Columbia. Ms Pittman, a veterans advocate, has assisted many veterans and the families of veterans (filing claims, housing placements, employment, and burials), also incarcerated veterans, women veterans issues, and those in need of rehab/counseling for drug, alcohol, and post traumatic stress. Barbara continues in support thru referrals to the VA DC VetCenter and memberships to Department of DC VFW, and DC VVA Chapter 958. Ms Pittman provides volunteering community services to many organizations. Barbara also help facilitate to bring the DC based Veterans Service Organizations who make-up the DC Veterans Forum (VSO’s – i.e. VFW, AL, MOPH, DAV, and VVA) regarding veterans issue and the possible disposition/usage of the closed Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC).
Sgt. James Rogers—United States Army First Class (Indian Head, Md.)
Sgt. James Rogers’ wife Kelly tells us: I am nominating my husband James Rogers, who is a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army. Let me just start out by saying that my husband is a true blue country boy from rural Kentucky that loves his truck, the USA, country music, and his family. My husband is my hero because he has dedicated his time and energy to serve this great country and at the same time be a wonderful, giving and devoted husband to me and my two sons. My husband is a mechanic in the United States Army and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, and of course the wonderful USA. My husband has managed to raise a family, advance in rank to E-7 in 10 years time, obtain a college degree, and do his duty to serve the President at the White House Communications Agency. He is truly an inspiration and all he has accomplished in so little of time amazes me. I am so proud of my husband and truly believe he deserves the honor of being acknowledged and saluted for his hard work and dedication to his country that he loves so much.
SSG Dianna Sokol Williams friend Rudy believes she is a true hero and represents herself every day by the way she has taken care of our wounded warriors and their families. She has worked at both the previous Walter Reed Hospital and currently serving in the new Walter Reed Bethesda. She herself deployed to Iraq for 15 months and is married to another service member who has deployed three times. Her devotion to our wounded warriors and family members is beyond reproach. There is not a wounded warrior or family member that does not know who she is or they will seek her out because they all know she can get things done. She was recently inducted into the Prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy club because of her astute leadership capabilities and potential. She is also serving in a higher capacity due to her extraordinary professionalism with VIPs, senior leaders and congressional dignitaries coming to visit our warriors in the hospital. Dianna Sokol Williams has proven herself time and time again through her compassion for taking care of people! She will always go out of her way to ensure that folks are taken care of and have what they need. It is with great pleasure and honor that I nominate SSG Dianna Sokol Williams as our hero for what she has done and continues to do on a daily basis and inspiring us all to be better people.
Victoria, a friend close to LTC Jonathan Watson says he is assigned to the Joint Staff in the Pentagon and his job is highly critical and demanding. On average, you will find him working in the building around 12 hours every day. He is also a doctoral student pursuing his PhD in education. What inspires me most about LTC Watson is in spite of his demanding job and sometimes hectic school schedule, he always finds the time to mentor the young men and boys in his community. He organizes leadership workshops and provides meals for the guys afterwards. Most of these guys have no positive male role models in their lives. He is always giving and never expecting anything in return. He has an amazing gift of compassion and leadership. He goes to church regularly and is an amazing father to his daughter who is a junior at Howard University. He is truly a hero in our community.
We thank all those who nominated Washington, DC metro area military friends, family and loved ones, as well as all those who have and currently serve our country through the United States Armed Forces.
Which Finalist Do You Pick to get a Chevy DC Military Salute?
- Col. Robert Kwalwasser (34%, 353 Votes)
- Benjamin Ferguson (19%, 194 Votes)
- Sgt. Timothy McLaughlin (18%, 187 Votes)
- LTC. Jonathan Watson (17%, 180 Votes)
- SSG Dianna Sokol Williams (6%, 60 Votes)
- Sgt. James Rogers (4%, 47 Votes)
- Sgt. Barbara A. Pittman (2%, 24 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,045
Text Results as of November 9 at 5:40pm:
Remember, voting by text is unlimited. The next text results will be posted Thursday, November 10 at 9:30am. To find out your total number of votes, add together the number of online and text votes.
The Chevrolet Military Salute program continues to demonstrate Chevrolet’s longstanding commitment to the military, which dates back to WWII, where we assisted in the production of wartime materials and vehicles. Our support continues today, with the GM Military Discount program, our ongoing collections for Cell Phones for Soldiers, and our support of military organizations including the Achilles Freedom Team and the Travis Manion Foundation.
*No purchase necessary to nominate an individual or to be nominated. Nominees must be a legal resident of Virginia, Maryland or Washington, DC, 21 years or older with a valid driver’s license and currently a retired or active member of a branch of the U.S. armed forces. Nominations must be received between September 24 through October 30. Seven finalists will be featured on www.drivingthenortheast.com on November 2. The public will be able to select one of the seven finalists from November 2 through November 9 on www.drivingthenortheast.com or by texting CHEVYVOTE to 877877. The winner will be chosen and notified November 11 via e-mail and featured on www.drivingthenortheast.com. Military reward will include a one week-long vehicle loan, current hometown celebration in the serviceman/woman’s honor and other surprises.
We encourage you to leave a comment below about what inspired you to vote for any of the finalists or what moves you about ALL those who serve our country. We reserve the right to edit any post we feel goes against the good-natured spirit of the Chevrolet Military Salute. If you’re having difficulty voting or have a question or concern about a comment you submitted, please contact us at GMNortheast@gm.com.
Tags: Air Force, Army, Chevrolet, Chevy, Chevy Cruze, Corvette, Cruze, Cruze ECO, Equinox, Marines, military, National Guard, Navy, reserves, Sonic, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines, US National Guard, US Navy, Washington DC