As descendants of America's very first veterans, members of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) have long supported veterans and veterans' causes. The mission of the SAR Veterans Committee is to direct the SAR's efforts to serve those who have served us by overseeing a number of programs to encourage and recognize individuals, chapters, and state-level societies in their support of veterans.
The USS Stark Memorial Award recognizes outstanding chapters and state-level societies within the SAR for their support of veterans by having exceptional overall veterans programs. The Veterans Committee establishes the criteria for the Stark Report that are used in determining the winners of the award, which are presented at the annual SAR Congress.
The General William C. Westmoreland Award is presented at the annual SAR Congress to an SAR member who has distinguished himself by his service to veterans. The National Society makes only one such award each year.
The Service to Veterans Medal is presented to SAR members who have embraced the essence of serving veterans by accumulating 5,000 Stark Award points.
The Veterans Committee also oversees SAR Representatives and Deputy Representatives who represent the SAR's volunteer activities at VA Medical Centers (VAMC) throughout the country. The Chairman of the Veterans Committee is the SAR National Certifying Officer for the appointed Representatives and Deputy Representatives. This position fulfills a federal requirement that national organizations having Representatives and Deputy Representatives at VA Medical Centers must be appointed by a National Certifying Officer of that organization.
2015-2016 Veterans Committee Members:
Jim Alexander, Jr.; Jim Arnold; Ron Barker; Bruce Buehler; Gene Butler; Paul Callanan; Bob Ebert; Harold Fisk; Scott Giltner; David Jessel; Bill Kabel (Chairman); Greg Lucas; Stephen Miller; Charlie Newcomer; Bob O'Neal; Charles Scott; Rev. Jim Taylor; George Thurmond; Tony Vets (Vice Chairman); and Brian Worcester.
SAR War Service Medal
The SAR War Service Medal was first authorized in 1899 for SAR members who served in the Spanish-American War. It was subsequently authorized for members who served in World War I and World War II. Following World War II, the SAR authorized a generic War Service Medal with specific service periods indicated by bronze bars.
SAR Military Service Medal
The SAR Military Service Medal was authorized in 2006. It may be presented by a chapter or state-level society to SAR members (or purchased by SAR members) who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, Coast Guard, an allied country of the United States, or in a United Nations Peace Keeping Force, who otherwise do not qualify for the SAR War Service Medal.
In 1988, the SAR authorized the USS Stark Memorial Award to memorialize those brave men and women who continue to stand at the forefront to preserve the freedoms our patriotic ancestors fought so long and hard to achieve. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding SAR chapters and societies for their exceptional support of the activities of the SAR Veterans Committee and in serving the veteran community.
The USS Stark was a United States Navy guided-missile frigate launched on May 30, 1980. In 1987, the ship was deployed to the Middle East, and on May 17, 1987, was struck by two Exocet missiles fired from an Iraqi warplane. There were 37 U.S. sailors killed and 21 injured. The Stark was repaired and returned to service. She was decommissioned in 1999.
The reporting period for the USS Stark Award competition is January 1 through December 31 of the previous year. Chapter activities are to be recorded by each Chapter Veterans Committee Chairman on the USS Stark Award Scoring Sheet (available on this website) and submitted according to the instructions on the Scoring Sheet, with a copy sent to the State-level Society Veterans Committee Chairman by January 15. The State-level Society Chairman will consolidate all chapter reports to compile a society report, using the same Scoring Sheet, and submit a report to the SAR Veterans Committee Chairman and Executive Director not later than February 1 of each year. Each submitter (chapter or society) may be requested to substantiate some categories. The SAR Veterans Committee will judge the submissions to determine winners at the SAR Spring Leadership Conference.
Awards will recognize the most effective SAR chapters and state-level societies. First place awards for chapters will be made by membership size: 1 to 49; 50 to 99; 100 to 199; and over 200. One first place award will be given to a state-level society with less than 1,000 members (will be judged using average points per registered member of the society). Another first place award will be made to a society with more than 1,000 members (will be judged using average points per registered member of the society). A USS Stark Award Streamer is awarded to the winner of each chapter and state-level society category. First place awards may not be earned for two consecutive years. An “Honorable Mention” Streamer may be awarded to consecutive first-place finishers at the discreation of the SAR Veterans Committee. The USS Stark Awards are presented by the National Society at the annual SAR Congress.
The General William C. Westmoreland Award was authorized in 1996, and only one award is presented annually to an SAR member who has distinguished himself by his service to veterans. The deadline for nominations from a state-level society or a chapter for this award is January 1. Nominations are to be made using the special nomination form that is available online. The SAR Veterans Committee determines a winner at the Spring Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, and the award is presented at the annual SAR Congress. Among the criteria considered in making a selection are: the number of hours volunteered for serving veterans; service on veterans committees at the chapter, state-level society, and national levels; hours and miles driven to help veterans; the number of items and cash contributions made to Veterans Services; association with other organizations that work with veterans; sponsorship of veteran events at SAR events; and accomplishments in regards to veterans programs.
The Westmoreland Award is a special gold version of the SAR's Service to Veterans Medal. An SAR member may receive this medal only once. A certificate accompanies the medal. Oak leaf clusters or other ribbon attachments are not authorized.
2015 General William C. Westmoreland Award Winner
Darrell Joe Parrish with SAR President General Lindsey Brock
Mr. Darrell Joe Parrish, a member of the Governor Isaac Shelby Chapter in the Kentucky SAR, was presented the General William C. Westmoreland Award by President General Lindsey Brock at the 2015 SAR Congress in Louisville, Kentucky. Compatriot Parrish has served over 2,000 hours at the Robby Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, where he volunteers his time in the pharmacy. He has driven nearly 4,000 miles to help veterans, and the number of items he has donated to veterans exceeds 25,000 pieces. A three-year member of his chapter’s Veterans Committee, he regularly participates in Honor Flight receptions at the Louisville airport. The SAR Veterans Committee is proud to recognize Compatriot Darrell Joe Parrish as the 2015 General William C. Westmoreland Award recipient.
The SAR Service to Veterans Medal may be awarded by an SAR chapter or a state-level society only to SAR members who have given long and exemplary service to veterans while serving as a representative of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). The medal is awarded when a member has accrued 5,000 Stark Award points (these points can be a combination of time volunteered, clothing and/or money donated, or achievements in other areas based on the USS Stark Award Score Sheet). The Service to Veterans Medal will be awarded at the chapter (or society) level following the Chapter Veterans Committee Chairman’s (or State-level Society Veterans Committee Chairman, as necessary) approval of the member’s documentation. Each individual seeking to qualify for this award is responsible for recording his personal point accumulation and providing that documentation to the Chapter Veterans Committee Chairman (or State-level Society Veterans Committee Chairman) for verification. The cost of this award will be paid by the awarding entity. A Certificate of Accomplishment shall accompany the medal and each oak leaf cluster.
An SAR member may receive this Service to Veterans Medal multiple times. A bronze oak leaf cluster will be awarded for each multiple of 3,000 Stark Award points earned after the first award. The presentation and wearing of oak leaf clusters shall follow SAR policy. After five bronze oak leaf clusters have been presented, a silver oak leaf cluster will be presented to replace the five previous clusters.
The Service to Veterans Medal is bronze, with a design on the obverse side of the medal showing one hand reaching down offering assistance to the second hand. Across the top of the medal are the words “Service to Veterans” and across the bottom are the words “National Society Sons of the American Revolution.” The reverse of the medal is the inscription “Awarded for Voluntary Service” with the awardee’s name and presentation date. The medal is suspended from a blue, white, and red (from left to right) vertically draped ribbon. The medal has an SAR precedence of “32.”