Congresswoman Kat Cammack and her team honored Sgt. Maj. Ansil Lewis as the 2022 Veteran of the Year Award during a Friday morning ceremony in Gainesville.
Lewis served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 2017.
He received several accolades during and after his time in the service, including the bronze star, legion of merit, meritorious service medal, navy, and marine corps achievement medal, combat action ribbon, joint meritorious unit award, navy unit commendation, and the military outstanding volunteer medal.
Lewis said that out of all his awards and accolades, his most coveted one is the volunteer medal.
"Over my career, I have volunteered with kids and spent a lot of time in the community, so receiving that award was special," Lewis said. "I give back to the community, then who will? I do it to pay back those in need and help however I can. It is all about paying it forward."
After his time with the Marine Corps, Lewis continued to show his dedication to the active-duty service members and veterans by being involved in the Clay County veteran community.
He serves as the past commandant of the Roy S. Geiger Marine Corps League Detachment 1047. He is a member of the Board for Operation Bambas and president of the Veterans Council of Clay County.
"Today is pretty humbling," he said. "I know there are a lot of veterans out there doing great work, so by being honored here today, those veterans are also honored."
Cammack began the Veteran of the Year Award when she took office in January 2021.
"There's just simply not enough that we can do to roll out the red carpet and honor the service of those that have given so much to our nation," Cammack said. "We wanted to do our part in highlighting their service and really giving the community that opportunity for buy-in by nominating their favorite veteran. It's been three years, and we're so excited for this program to continue growing."
To nominate a veteran for the upcoming 2023 Veteran of the Year Award, visit Cammack's website and fill out the application form provided. This year's application deadline is Nov. 18.