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ARLINGTON, Va. — Deployed personnel, do you know anyone who’s gone above and beyond to make your life out there a little better? Did someone spend his downtime building a sun deck for the unit out of scrap lumber? A miniature golf course that weaves between the minefields?

The SemperComm Foundation wants to hear about it.

SemperComm is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 that donates communications and entertainment electronics equipment to troops deployed to remote bases overseas, according to spokeswoman Alix Hornig.

On Oct. 30, the foundation opened nominations for its 2007 SemperComm Award, a recognition of U.S. servicemembers who have help boost the morale of their fellow servicemembers stationed in austere places.

Nomination forms are available on www.sempercomm.org, and are due Feb. 26.

Only uniformed military personnel are eligible for the award, Hornig said, although contractors and civilian government employees can offer nominations.

And for servicemembers, “self-nominations are also welcome,” Hornig said.

A panel of retired military members will select the 2007 winners, who will be notified via e-mail by March 12, he said.

The judges usually select three or four individuals or teams to receive the awards, which the foundation began giving out in 2005, Hornig said.

The 2007 winners will be eligible to receive a plaque commemorating their achievement at a SemperComm Gala and Silent Auction in Arlington, Va., on May 10.

There is no cash or other prize associated with award, Hornig said, but SemperComm Foundation will pay expenses, including transportation and lodging, for each award winner and one guest apiece.

In 2006, the SemperComm awards went to three individuals and one team with two soldiers.

One of the 2006 recipients was a team of two Army National Guard members, Capt. Stephen Jaksec and Sgt. 1st Class Robert Foster. The soldiers built a recreation center that includes “the world’s most dangerous regulation bocce ball court” while stationed at Forward Operation Base Habbaniyah in Iraq, according to the SemperComm Web site.

Another 2006 winner, Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class David Hamilton, built a recreation area in Ramadi that included a clubhouse with Internet access and even a street-hockey rink.

Other 2006 winners were Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Geoffrey Gotsch, a chaplain who built a relaxing “Chaplain’s Oasis” in Camp Fallujah in Iraq; and Marine Capt. Alfred Njie of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, who managed a wireless Internet system for almost 200 subscribers during his seven-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


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