414th MXS maintains excellence with Graydon Williams Award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Moore
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Graydon Wiliams Award, given annually to an exemplary Airman of the 944th Fighter Wing, is presented by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee. The award was named after Tech. Sgt. Graydon Williams, who was an Air Reserve Technician for the fighter wing and served in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. This year’s annual presentation of the Graydon Williams award was received by Tech. Sgt. David R. Emery, 414th Maintenance Squadron quality assurance inspector, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

“The Graydon Williams award has been in existence for a while,” said Sukki Jahnke, Tempe Chamber of Commerce vice president of marketing and programs. “We really seek to recognize the outstanding service members out at Luke and their various divisions, and continue on with the history of recognizing excellence.”

The Graydon William Award is presented annually to an ART or Active Guard Reserve member who personifies the character and traits of the late Tech. Sgt. Williams, a 944th FW maintenance ART who died at a young age of cancer. The essence of the award is based on superior performers who do not seek recognition and clearly perform above expectations in support of the wing.

“I was very humbled to even be considered for it much less receive the award,” said Emery. “It’s a really humbling experience to receive an award that honors a fellow maintainer since I’m a maintainer myself.”

Emery continued to exemplify the selfless characteristics of the awards name sake.

“I just go to work and do the best I can,” Emery shared. “We really don’t seek recognition but when we are recognized it’s awesome, it’s something we can use to go back and show the next generation that our hard work and dedication can lead to great rewards.”

The award was presented to Emery by Col. James Greenwald 944th FW commander, who spoke to the excellence of Emery’s performance in his duties and the importance of the inspector’s rolls in keeping Airmen safe on the ground and in the sky.

“I’m grateful to my leadership for not only nominating me but selecting me for the award. I got an opportunity to come to see a base I’ve not been to in a long time and to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to meet,” said Emery.