CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Luke D. Frank, an administrative specialist with the 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force administrative section, received the Society of American-Indian Government Employees Meritorious Service Award in Albuquerque, N.M., June 12, 2014.
The SAIGE Meritorious Service Award honors servicemembers and Department of Defense civilian employees who support global military and humanitarian missions.
Frank, a 21-year-old from Chinle, Ariz., with Navajo heritage, received the SAIGE Meritorious Award for the selfless use of his free-time.
“I do a lot of volunteer work when I go home,” Frank said. “I’m a member of the chapter houses, and I help out there.”
Frank helps take care of elderly residents’ lawns by pulling weeds in the spring and brings them chopped wood in the winter, he said.
Frank also volunteers at soup kitchens around his hometown.
Frank also has a hand in many events around base. He recently helped clean up houses near San Onofre, and is currently helping with the World-Famous MCCS Mud Run.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Damian Moreno, a native of East Chicago, Ind., and the operations and manpower staff noncommissioned officer in charge, has worked with Frank since 2011 and was one of the men who put Frank up for the award.
“It was great for him to be recognized for the award, not just because he is Native American, but because he is an all-around good Marine,” Moreno said. “He has a great future for him whether he stays in or gets out.”
Since arriving at his unit, Frank has been a great asset, Moreno said. His ability to learn the systems helped him achieve the rank of corporal meritoriously. We even put him on a meritorious sergeant board, but the competition was really tough, he added.
“The Marine Corps comes out with a list of awards that they can give out every year, and we can choose to put someone up for them or not,” Moreno explained. “So, I got together with my staff NCOs and we started putting the package together.”
The paperwork was started without telling Frank, Moreno said. He is very humble about the amount of volunteer work he does.
“I don’t have the volunteer log sheet, because I don’t care about that,” Frank said. “Sometimes I don’t even get letters of appreciation for the work; I just go and do it.”
When Frank found out about the award, he was very humbled by it, Moreno said. He’s not doing it for gratitude or to be recognized, he is just doing it because it’s the right thing to do.
“Thank you everybody for recognizing me, but I was just doing my job,” Frank said.