James A. Winnefeld, Jr. presented Cincinnati philanthropist Stephen R. Lee
with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Distinguished Public Service during a ceremony at the Pentagon on June 10, 2015.
Lee has served the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro) for nearly a decade as a member of its Board of Directors.
provides critical programs and services to military members and their families living and traveling throughout the Washington-Baltimore
region including the nation's wounded, ill and injured service members healing at local military hospitals and their caregivers.
"Steve Lee was instrumental in creating a host of programs tailored to meet the specific needs of our nation's wounded warriors, their families and caregivers," said Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of USO-Metro.
"Thanks to Steve
and the patriotic volunteers in Cincinnati, USO-Metro
can continue to provide the care that our service members so richly deserve."
Lee, co-founder of the USO Tribute Cincinnati, an event which has raised more than $5 million through the generosity of Cincinnati businesses and communities through USO-Metro, has provided immense support for Warrior and Family Support Programs at local military hospitals including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and the 1st Battalion, Warrior Transition Brigade at Fort Belvoir, Va.
An excerpt from the award citation reads:
"With the tremendous public service of Mr. Lee
has been able to develop a myriad of hospital programs and services.
untiring efforts to enhance the lives of America's military personnel and their families, he
has made vital and lasting contributions to the Department of Defense
The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Stephen Lee reflect great credit upon himself, the USO
of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and the Department of Defense
Working with USO-Metro, Lee assisted in fundraising efforts and the development of operational plans for the two largest USO Centers in the world-the USO Warrior and Family Centers at Fort Belvoir and Bethesda.
These two Centers were designed to support wounded, ill and injured military members, their families and their caregivers and are poised to take care of the nation's healing heroes and their families well into the future.
"Freedom comes with a price, and when our country needs our military, the USO
gives all of us in the civilian world a way to support service members and their families every step of the way - from home to the battlefield and to home again," said Lee
"Though I am humbled and honored by the Department's recognition, it truly is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, businesses and cultural organizations in Cincinnati and beyond that have come together to make new USO
Photos of the ceremony are available at www.flickr.com/photos/ocjcsprotocol/sets/72157654377287295.
To speak to Stephen Lee
or Elaine Rogers, please contact Lauren Hebert at Lauren@usometro.org or 703-887-1055.