Indiana soldier’s daughter named one of National Guard’s Top Volunteers | News
Lily Palfrey was recognized as one of the National Guard Bureau’s Top Volunteers of 2020 on Sunday and received her award during a ceremony at the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade Armory at Fort Indiantown Gap.
Lily is the daughter of 1st Sgt. Frank Palfrey, the senior chief of Headquarters and Headquarters enlisted, 28th ECAB. She was named the 2020 National Guard Bureau Youth Volunteer Award winner while her father was in the midst of a year-long deployment to the Middle East.
She wanted to wait for her father so that he could be home for the award ceremony and share this moment with her.
After a series of events canceled later in 2021 due to COVID-19, she was finally presented with her award by Major General Mark McCormack, Commander of the 28th Infantry Division, in the presence of her family, friends and HHC soldiers.
Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh, Army Deputy Adjutant General for the Pennsylvania National Guard, was also there to congratulate Lily and present her with a challenge coin.
“Lily Palfrey is a shining example of the resilience and hard work of our military children in Pennsylvania,” said Gina Childress, Chief Soldier and Family Readiness Specialist and award nominee. “She and her family served the Pennsylvania National Guard for several years and in multiple deployments. As Lily has grown, she now takes on a mentoring role that shows other military kids they can serve too.
Lily was spotlighted by the Pentagon in 2020 when she organized a project to create 154 care packages. Already faced with the absence of her father, COVID-19 has created more challenges for her project. Nonetheless, the packages were completed, mailed, and distributed throughout the Middle East to every soldier in his father’s unit.
The 28th ECAB returned home in May 2021 after a year-long deployment to the Middle East, where it served in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.