A former coal miner and veteran from West Virginia has been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in volunteerism. Wayne McDonald has volunteered over 9,000 hours, over five years, helping fellow veterans through AmeriCorps & VISTA.
McDonald is an Army veteran who served during the first Gulf War. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when he returned to West Virginia. The local Ceterans center in Logan County actually helped him find medical care. Later, they approached him about joining AmeriCorps, through their VetCorps Program.
“At first I said no, because I was afraid. I’ve never done anything like this. But they talked me into it,” McDonald told West Virginia Public Broadcasting back in 2015.
Now, three years later, he’s still serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Henlawson Veterans Center in Logan County. AmeriCorps members receive a living stipend and an education award for their service.
This is the first time a West Virginian has received the President’s Service Award.