Assemblyman Mike Gatto honored Glendale resident, and thirty-one year National Guard Veteran, Colonel Nancy Sumner, as Veteran of the Year for the 43rd District at the 2014 Assembly Veterans Recognition Luncheon yesterday. A community leader and decorated veteran of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, Sumner’s military and civilian careers have been defined by steadfast service to our country and dedication to saving the lives of her friends, neighbors, and community members. Assemblyman Gatto flew Col. Sumner to Sacramento to be recognized at a special luncheon held at the State Capitol.
“Nancy is the type of leader we all hope to have living in our community,” said Gatto. “She embodies the values of selflessness and service that are hallmarks of a United States military veteran and hero.”
Col. Sumner’s military service began in 1981 when she joined the California Air National Guard, serving in Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations, and in locations such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Belize, Saudi Arabia and Bosnia. During Operation Desert Storm, she was involved in more than thirty-five aero-medical evacuation missions. She retired from active duty in 2012, having received more than a dozen medals and commendations from both the Air Force and Army.
Since then, Col. Sumner has advocated for veterans through the Glendale Veteran’s Coalition, which helps service members to access education, among other services. In recognition of these efforts, Nancy was recently appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the California Community College Board of Governors, a seventeen-member group responsible for helping guide and set policy for the state’s 112 community colleges.
Assemblyman Gatto commended Col. Sumner’s efforts, “It is essential that we remember the sacrifices made by servicemen and -women on our behalf by caring for veterans after they leave the armed forces. Nancy Sumner reminds of these sacrifices and our responsibilities.”
In addition to serving veterans, Nancy works in the emergency room at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, where she is a nurse and disaster coordinator. She also serves on the Board of Directors for both the Red Cross and YWCA of Glendale.
“Community leaders like Col. Nancy Sumner, who give of themselves so freely, are the cornerstone of strong, stable, and vibrant communities,” said Gatto. “I am honored to recognize the dedication and service of a true American hero.”