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Vance Airman recognized for her service at American Legion Auxiliary national convention

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley Crist
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Senior Airman Hannah Luker received the American Legion Auxiliary Salute to Servicemember Award at the ALA national convention in Milwaukee, Aug. 30. 

Luker, an Oregon native, is a systems technician with the 71st Medical Group at Vance Air Force Base.

She was awarded the Salute to Servicemember Award at the state level in Oklahoma in July before receiving the national-level award.

The Salute to Servicemember Award has evolved over the years from honoring women veterans to honoring active-duty women to honoring all military personnel who are currently serving in the United States armed forces.

“I would like to thank the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 58 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for recognizing and supporting me throughout this process,” Luker said on stage at the national convention.

“It takes a team to support you. My leadership has done this multiple times for me and is why I will continue to provide my service for people who truly need it,” said Luker.

“Reading Senior Airman Hannah Luker’s nomination letter, we learned that she was not only an asset through her leadership duties at Vance Air Force Base, but also played a vital role in the Enid community during COVID-19,” said Kim Vincent, a unit secretary with the American Legion Auxiliary.

Since her first year at Vance, Luker has worked diligently to help improve the local community and the base. “I was taking time on the weekends to go to local parks to pick up leftover debris,” said Luker.

During her community involvement, she met Staff Sgt. Iasia Norton-Gardner, a member of the 33rd Flying Training Squadron. Together they organized a group to serve the city of Enid.

“We had an idea to create our own club that could give back to the community. That group is called ‘Helping Handz,’” said Luker.

The group held drives to collect hygiene items during the pandemic for underserved members of the Enid community in 2020. During the 2021 holiday season, Helping Handz collected cold-weather clothing for those who needed it.

But her contributions didn’t stop with the local community. Luker is recognized on base for her contributions to the military community. She is a member of the Vance Honor Guard and has participated in military funeral ceremonies for veterans and active duty and retired members.

“I enjoy the mission in honoring veterans and their families and have always wanted to be involved since even before I joined the service, said Luker.

According to her Salute to Servicemember nomination package, “Luker has been a part of our unit for two years and has shown limitless potential. Her aptitude, leadership capability, and can-do attitude proves she is an invaluable asset. She is an outstanding Airman and fully qualified to be recognized at the state and national level.”