A member of the Iowa Air National Guard and a deputy sheriff who also are members of the Iowa legislature are this year’s recipients of the “uncommon public service” award from the Herbert Hoover Foundation.
Representative Royd Chambers, a Republican from Sheldon, found out he’d won the award early this afternoon when an announcement was made in the Iowa House.
“I probably wouldn’t be emotional at all, except for seeing my mom — here’s mom — and my wife, Barb, and my sister, Renae,”Chambers said, his voice choking with emotion before he added: “What a great surprise.”
Chambers, a retired Air Force veteran, is a master sergeant at the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City. Chambers was first elected to the House in 2002 and missed the 2009 legislative session when he was deployed to Kyrgyzstan. Chambers said he has taken one of Herbert Hoover’s quotes to heart.
“You know, in my service to community, state or nation, (Hoover’s) saying that a lot of you are familiar with, that being a politician is a poor occupation, but being a public servant is a good one has been a mantra of mine and has driven what I do inside the legisalture and outside as well,” Chambers said.
This year’s “uncommon public service” award in the state senate when to Steve Sodders, a Democrat from State Center who was honored for his work as a state senator, a deputy sheriff and a volunteer fire fighter. Senate President Jack Kibbie praised Sodders for his volunteer work in after-school programs for kids in middle school.
“Senator Sodders exemplifies the values of leadership, compassion, work ethic and responsibility when he devotes his time mentoring others on the importance of education to prevent students from dropping out of school and encourages drop-outs to return to school,” Kibbie said.
A group of Marshalltown Area Community College students who Sodders had mentored were on hand this afternoon (Monday) for the award presentation.
Herbert Hoover, the man for whom this award is named, is an Iowa native who saved the lives of millions after World War I when he ran relief efforts in Europe. Hoover served one term as U.S. president and his presidential library is located at his birthplace in West Branch, Iowa.