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MCLB honors dedicated humanitarian

By Pamela Jackson | | April 29, 2010

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Each year, the Department of Defense sends out a request for nominations for the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Humanitarian Award. Topping the list for the Department of the Navy is Dr. Charles B. Gillespie, retired orthopedic surgeon and supporter of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.

The DoN award was presented to Gillespie by Kent Morrison, executive director, and Lt. Col. Donald Finn, director, Operations and Training Division, both of MCLB Albany, Friday during a roast in his honor at Albany Technical College in Albany, Ga.

Morrison told the crowd that the Marine Corps has a special relationship with Gillespie and MCLB Albany deeply appreciates what he does for the Marines and civilian-Marines every day.

“Doc is a term of affection that I have used for many years because you (Gillespie) have taken good care of us. Our first presentation is a hat from the Marines aboard the installation to honor you as one of our civilian-Marines. Wear it with pride as a token of our appreciation,” Morrison said.

Finn and Morrison presented the DoN Award to Gillespie after reading the description and criteria for the award.

MCLB Albany nominated Gillespie last year for his many contributions and it is my pleasure to announce to you that he was selected as the DoN finalist for distinguished civilian humanitarian service. We would like to formally recognize him for his contributions to all military members and their families,” Finn said.

The Fisher award is given to individuals in the community whose personal qualities exemplify patriotism, generosity and selfless dedication to members of the armed forces of the United States through an outstanding humanitarian act or service.

“It was a great opportunity to recognize an individual who has had this much of an impact on not just Albany, but throughout the state of Georgia. He has done so much for members of the armed forces and it’s our honor to present this award to him tonight,” Finn said.

Gillespie was also honored by ATC for organizing and implementing the first emergency medical technician course in Georgia.

Information contained in the event’s program reads: “Through his leadership and continuous support, ATC’s emergency medical technology program is now considered one of the premier programs of its type in Georgia.”

Gillespie said his dad was a part of the 2nd Marine Division during World War II, so he has always had a love for the Marine Corps.

“It was a nice surprise when I found out I would be honored by MCLB Albany for my work on behalf of all service members, but I know that they all need the help of physicians like myself. I joined the Military Affairs Committee in 1972 and have been working with them ever since. I was also very involved in the last round of the base realignment and closure,” Gillespie said.

Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, said that for many years Gillespie has championed quality of life issues for Marines as well as the other service members and their families.

“He has done this without expectation of reward, but out of the goodness of his heart. He is a true patriot and nominating him is the least we could do,” Williams said. “He is very deserving of this honor.”


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