Buckley honors city leaders
By Senior Airman Christopher Gross, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 09, 2013
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Base and city leaders gathered at the Leadership Development Center during a Community Heroes of Buckley luncheon Jan. 8 to honor two civilian recipients who have gone above and beyond to exemplify the true meaning of service before self.
George Peck, Aurora Chamber of Commerce staff vice president, and Representative Su Ryden, Colorado House of Representatives, were honored for their service to Buckley.
Peck leads most of the chamber's working committees and has been involved in the community for years. In 2009, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the United Veterans Committee of Colorado and was awarded the 2010 Veteran Volunteer of the Year for Aurora.
He's attended countless Buckley official functions, such as changes of command, special recognition ceremonies and other events. He supported and continues to support the military by backing organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project. He helped coordinate deployed family events, spoke at the monthly Right Start briefings welcoming new service members to Aurora, participated in the Installation Development Plan to aid in planning Buckley's future in the community, and he has helped out with several other military functions.
"In short, George Peck may have taken his uniform off, but he's still serving," said Col. Daniel Dant, 460th Space Wing commander. "He serves every single day. He serves the city of Aurora, he serves our Buckley Air Force Base, our families, and he serves his country."
Peck said he was truly thankful to be honored in such way.
"In a room full of heroes, and this truly is a room full of heroes, people that I look up to -- first responders, military people, people who lead our city -- this is a great, great honor to be here in front of you as heroes of our community," said Peck. "So thank you very much for this very great honor."
Dant also spoke highly of Ryden during the luncheon.
"She truly cares about the people of Buckley," said Dant. "She has truly lived a life of service to others."
Ryden is also someone who has been involved with the base. She's attended many changes of command and ground-breaking ceremonies. She's been here for Colorado National Guard deployments and has attended many meetings hosted by Team Buckley.
Her benevolence to the military community has been recognized several times before. She's received the 2012 United Veterans Committee Legislative Leadership Award, the 2005 Aurora Chamber of Commerce Women in Business "Unsung Hero" Award, the 2010 Senior Lobby 100 Percent Supporter, and a number of other community awards.
Dant said Ryden has been a power house for the base at the state capitol during the last several years. She helped get a traffic signal along 6th Avenue, preventing future automobile collisions at a place where some have occurred in the past. She also introduced and fought for a law protecting Colorado military installations from encroachment.
"This is just such an honor," Ryden said. "What we try to do is facilitate your jobs and make your lives easier. Whatever I've done, it pales in comparison to what you all are doing all the time."