Isakson to receive initial McCain Award

Johnny Isakson

WASHINGTON — In recognition of his strong support for national service, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will receive the inaugural John S. McCain Service to Country Award from Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions who work to ensure Americans of all ages can serve and volunteer in their community.

The award will be presented to Isakson Tuesday in recognition of his life-long devotion to country through citizen and public service and for exceptional leadership in advancing national service to solve community problems. It will formally be presented to him by Cindy McCain.

Isakson joins a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders in government, business and journalism from across the nation who will be honored by Voices for National Service, including Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark., and Jack Reed, D-R.I; Reps Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and First Lady Valerie Sununu, and Mark Donovan, president of the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Sen. Isakson firmly believes that service is an obligation of citizenship, and that by giving back to your country, Americans can learn something about themselves, each other and the world around them,” AnnMaura Connolly, president of Voices for National Service, said in a news release. “Like his friend and colleague, the late Sen. John McCain, Sen. Isakson has worked to protect, expand and improve service opportunities at home and abroad.

“For his efforts to build bipartisan support for national service programs and for the individuals who voluntarily chose to devote a year or more of their lives to service, Voices for National Service is proud to present Sen. Johnny Isakson with the inaugural John S. McCain Service to Country Award.”

Isakson honored McCain in acknowledging the award.

“John McCain’s life and work left an indelible mark on history, and I’m incredibly honored to have earned this prestigious award named in his honor from an organization that is so highly respected by so many,” the Georgia senator said. “To have Mrs. Cindy McCain present this special award is particularly meaningful for me. It is my privilege to serve, and I can hope that I’ve made a positive difference in the lives of others.”

Isakson is a champion of both the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, and in 2011 he sponsored the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act to provide better security and protection measures for Peace Corps volunteers. In 2018, Isakson introduced legislation with Sen. Michael Bennet to exclude the AmeriCorps education award from federal income tax. The Isakson-Bennet bill will ensure that the post-service scholarship remains a valuable and compelling incentive for young people to serve.

Isakson’s commitment to making sure America takes care of those who dedicate their lives to serving our country extends to veterans, too. As chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, he is working to improve the quality of care at VA health care facilities, protect veterans’ benefits, and provide access to education and training to help veterans make a successful transition to civilian life.

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