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SRPMIC Receives Semper Fidelis Award

President Delbert Ray, Sr. accepts the Semper Fidelis Award on behalf of the SRPMIC during the Sixth Annual Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona Awards Dinner held in Scottsdale on September 10.

On September 10, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community received the Semper Fidelis Award at the Sixth Annual Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona Awards Dinner held at the Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. The event is a celebration that brings together Arizona’s Marine community and pays respects to the Corps.

The Semper Fidelis Award stems from a contribution the Community made to the group through its 12 percent gaming monies.

After a patriotic opener and an invocation, the keynote address by Lt. Gen. Michael Dana, USMC, was followed by dinner, which led into the awards presentation.

Right before the awards presentation, a video was shown of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members who served in the Marines and what drove them to join and serve in the military. SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier spoke about the pride that Native Americans have about serving in the military to protect their homelands, the United States.

President Ray, receiving the Semper Fidelis Award on behalf of the Community, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. When he received the award, he said, “On behalf of the SRPMIC, it is my honor and great privilege to accept the Semper Fidelis Award. When I enlisted into the Marine Corps, it would be another chapter in my life [that would] take me across the world, far away from my Community. This is a country of great diversity, as it has been and will continue to be, which makes us a great nation.”

Ray talked about the custom the tribe has always lived by, which is to always help others.

The Semper Fidelis Award recognizes individuals whose service to the nation exemplifies the Marine Corps motto to remain “Always Faithful.” Award recipients demonstrate unwavering commitment and decades of selfless service to an effort that contributes to the advancement of society.

Also receiving an award that evening was Deborah Carstens, who received the Service Above Self Award.

The awards dinner is part of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and hosted by the Arizona Scarlet and Gold Committee.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides need-based scholarships to military children of Marine and Navy Corpsman. The SRPMIC is a proud supporter of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

SRPMIC Council members and Community members were present at the awards ceremony.