By Rick Dayton

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Now in its fourth year, the Financial Planning Association of Pittsburgh is honoring area veterans who continue to serve in a different way now that their military service is done.

“We are honoring veterans who not only served their country, but are continuing to serve their community in one way or another — not necessarily with veterans organizations, but the community in general,” said Ruth Forsyth, the co-chair of the Saluting Service Event.

A record 26 men and women have been nominated for this year’s First-Class Patriot Achievement Award, including World War II veteran Walter Patton.

“It’s hard for me. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t expect it, and so that is about all I can say,” said Patton.

Patton is a retired steelworker and retired Methodist minister yet he still volunteers in many areas, including at the brand new World War II exhibit at the Heinz History Center.

“I have been as a volunteer with the Heinz History Center for 10 years or more, so I’m not a new kid around the block, so to speak,” Patton said.

Chris Phillips is another nominee. She left the Marine Corps as a sergeant in 1986. Now in her career with PNC Bank, she works diligently to tout the talents of vets.

“I believe that the next great wave of talent of people coming into the workforce is coming out of a uniform and into a suit,” said Phillips.

The First-Class Patriot Achievement Award will be presented May 13 at Soldiers and Sailors auditorium.

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