“People who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love.”
- Condoleezza Rice
With the newly established POW-MIA Youth Recognition Award, sponsored by the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum in St. Louis, comes the momentous inaugural award presentation. It is only fitting that the first youth participant to earn this award is the great-grandson of a former POW from St. Louis.
During a private ceremony, the museum's director Paul Dillon, on behalf of the executive committee represented by board member Noel Freesh, proudly presented this first award to Edward "Kirk" Ucinski IV. This was to recognize his accomplishment and to solidify Kirk's hard work and devotion. In addition to the award, Kirk received the museum's coveted challenge coin, as a way to show appreciation for his dedication and commitment.
Success is no stranger to this young man, since Kirk has a résumé of wonderful accomplishments and many seized opportunities. Adding to that list is now the distinctive honor of becoming the first to earn this esteemed award.
This first presentation was conducted at the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum, located in what is now the historic Jefferson Barracks County Park, only feet from the oldest operating military base west of the Mississippi River. It was a memorable occasion for all who were present, with the hopes of many more opportunities to come.