'Outstanding Missouri Educator in Aviation'

Master Sgt. Claudia Spooner, (left) Hardin, Mo., resident and U.S. Air Force reservist, accepts the Spirit of America award from the National Exercise Tiger Association's Missouri associate state director Master Sgt. Bob Jackson, at the association's annual awards banquet in Columbia, Mo., Sept. 21. Sergeant Spooner received the award in recognition for being the "Outstanding Missouri Educator in Aviation" for her work with the Wright Flight program at Hardin Central and Norborne schools. Wright Flight is a youth-mentoring program, which uses aviation notables such as the Wright brothers and World War II's Tuskegee Airmen as examples to help children set and achieve goals. The National Exercise Tiger Association, which recognizes military members for excellence in service, is a national commemorative foundation formed to keep alive the memory of those American servicemen killed aboard three ships attacked by German torpedo boats during a World War II exercise April 28, 1944. At the time of the attack, with 749 killed, it was the single largest loss of American military lives since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (US Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Bill Huntington)

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