MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Town Hall was packed and the crowd was full of old time war vets who proudly served their country. One by one, honorees approached the city council where they were recognized for their outstanding work in the community—one of them stood out.
Unlike the rest of the recipients he was the only active duty service member there. As his name was read, Hudson Falls, N.Y. native, Staff Sgt. Daniel G. Stoy received a standing ovation.
Stoy, an infantry unit leader with 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, was honored for his outstanding achievements in community service and awarded the City of Jacksonville, North Carolina’s Outstanding Veterans Award Nov. 22.
Stoy has three Purple Hearts from wounds he received in Iraq and serves as the Sergeant-at-Arms for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Beirut Memorial Chapter 642.
“Each of the different veteran chapters here in Jacksonville was allowed to put up one nominee for the award, which is basically for your service in the community,” said Stoy. “This is the first time that The Military Order Of The Purple Heart has had an active duty member up for the award in two or three years. Basically it’s from all of the volunteer work I’ve done after the tornados hit. I had my whole [team] out there working with me.”
In late summer a tornado hit the area devastating families, destroying homes and leveling businesses. Stoy quickly gathered up a group of his guys, headed out on town and helped in any way they could. He and his team spent countless hours servicing the community in the wake of the event.
“If there is any time that we need help, Staff Sgt. Stoy always gets his troops for us,” said Verl H. Matthews, senior vice commander of the Purple Heart Chapter. “He asks for volunteers and him and his guys always come and help. These guys are some of the hardest workers and I just got done signing about 20 appreciation letters this morning. He has just done so much for us and the community.”
As a proud father of three, he said it was no easy task juggling his duties as a Marine, community volunteer and husband all at the same time. He said if there was one person who made it all work, it was his wife.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of my wonderful wife,” said Stoy. “She has fully supported me in everything. She’s here taking care of the home front while I’m out volunteering. It’s that basic love and your basic husband and wife support—she has been great.”
Stoy said that he plans on doing community service for the rest of his life and was very humbled to receive the award. He attributes his love for service to his father and wanted everyone to know how appreciative he was to be recognized.
“It feels good to be honored like this because my father, who just passed in October, always used to tell us, ‘What you give is what you get,’ so it meant a lot to get it," said Stoy. “Between the balance of work and the balance of volunteering it was tough. But just being able to see the looks on people’s faces when you’re out there helping, just makes it all worth it in the end.”