Commander Jim Bedinger (right) with SDMAC founder Larry Blumberg. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The San Diego Military Advisory Council honored five military and civilian individuals and organizations for their contributions to San Diego’s military community Thursday at the organization’s 11th annual achievement awards ceremony.

Commander Jim Bedinger, a Vietnam Prisoner of War and officer who served over 22 years in the Navy, received the Rear Admiral Bruce Boland Lifetime Achievement Award. Bedinger’s life has been one of “service to country,” with long involvement in the Navy League, the San Diego Armed Services YMCA, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Fleet Week. He is currently treasurer of the SDMAC Foundation.

Collectively, Bedinger and the other award recipients honored in the event at the Admiral Baker Club House volunteered thousands of hours in 2017 toward the welfare of San Diego’s military community

“We feel privileged to recognize these organizations and individuals who are going above and beyond to support and help improve the quality of life for our active duty service members, retirees, veterans and their family members,” said Rear Admiral Mark Balmert, president of SDMAC.

Other awards, all named in honor of Nancy Dix, a founder of SDMAC, were:

  • NEPMU-5 — This Navy Environmental Preventative Medicine Unit received the Military Unit Achievement Award for its partnership with Olympic View Elementary School, participation in 24 health fairs in military housing, support to Father Joe’s Village and help for the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center.
  • VERITAS — The Veterans, Employees, Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve received the Civilian Organization Achievement Award for volunteer work with numerous organizations. VERITAS is made up of Northrop Grumman employees and family members who volunteer their time.
  • Justin L. Sobleskie — Sobleskie, a hospital corpsman stationed at Camp Pendleton, received the Military Individual Achievement Award. Sobleskie is an active-duty sailor, part-time student, husband and father who serves his local community as a youth sports coach at Camp Pendleton, dedicating over 568 hours to coaching baseball, football and soccer.
  • Cindy Clabaugh –The acknowledged “right hand woman” at the San Diego Fisher House, received the Civilian Individual Achievement Award. Clabaugh, a twice-widowed Navy wife, has volunteered at Fisher House, a home away from home for military families, for over 2,700 hours since 2012.

SDMAC advances the partnership among the military, elected officials, civic leaders, and the local business community to enhance the understanding of the military’s  contributions to the San Diego region.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.