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.
USS STARK MEMORIAL AWARD
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.
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 thirty-seven U.S. sailors killed and twenty-one 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. Those needing assistance with the USS Stark Memorial Award scoring sheet may consult the activity tracking sheet, however, the only official entry form is the USS Stark Memorial Award scoring sheet.
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 discretion of the SAR Veterans Committee. The USS Stark Awards are presented by the National Society at the annual SAR Congress.
GENERAL WILLIAM C. WESTMORELAND AWARD
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 SAR 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.
SERVICE TO VETERANS MEDAL
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.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.”
The SAR War Service and Military Services Medal sets are available for purchase through the SAR Store and Merchandise Department.