[caption id=“attachment_7732” align=“aligncenter” width=“500”] USO of Delaware Director Joan Cote receives the National Guard Association of the United States’ Patrick Henry Award in Reno, Nevada, earlier this month. Courtesy of the National Guard Association of the United States[/caption]

USO Delaware Director Joan Cote received a career-defining honor this month when she accepted the Patrick Henry Award from the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) for her years of work with troops.

“What a thrill receiving this award was for me and USO Delaware,” Cote said. “As you can tell [from the photo above] my eyes were filled with tears. … [It was] the proudest moment of my USO career!”

Established in 1989, the Patrick Henry Award is the civilian equivalent to the NGAUS Distinguished Service Medal. According to the association’s website, the award “is designed to provide recognition to local officials and civic leaders, who in a position of great responsibility distinguished themselves with outstanding and exceptional service to the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard or NGAUS.”

Cote has been the director of USO Delaware for since it opened in March of 1991. Her duties include overseeing two centers at Dover Air Force Base, home to Air Force Mortuary Affairs and site of dignified transfers. USO Delaware has supported every dignified transfer at Dover since it opened its doors.

Click here to see the full list of the 2012 NGAUS recipients. - Eric Brandner, USO Director of Story Development