171 ARW presents its first meritorious civilian award

Deborah J. Krall with the 171st Air Refueling Wing  receives the Meritorious Civilian Service Award March 5, 2017. ( U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan A. Conley)

Deborah J. Krall with the 171st Air Refueling Wing receives the Meritorious Civilian Service Award March 5, 2017. ( U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan A. Conley)

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (March 23, 2017) --

The first ever Meritorious Civilian Service Award in base history was presented at the 171st Air Refueling Wing on March 5, 2017.

            Deborah “Deb” J. Krall, the 171st Force Support Squadron’s Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award in recognition of her years of dedicated service to both Airmen and their families.

In a corner office of the headquarters building, a short walk from the dining facility, lies the Family Readiness center. The room is decorated in red, white and blue with patriotic art to include several images of Uncle Sam. In the reception area is an assortment of items including free school materials, baby supplies, clothing and candy.

The patriotic overtones are evidence of someone living a life committed to service.

Deb, with 33 years of military service beginning in 1975 until 2008, has been the Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager since 2001. Following her service as the Air National Guard’s most deployed chaplain’s assistant, Deb took on the responsibility of program manager as a civilian employee while continuing military service as a traditional guardsman. Since then she has worked vigorously to aide members of the 171st and their families in countless ways.

Deb finds methods and makes connections to aide Airmen and their families the best she’s able.

“I take care of the Airmen and their families,” said Deb. “If you’re deploying I’m talking to your family while you’re gone. If you’re expecting a new baby then we have the mommy to be shower going on. If you’ve run into a bit of a financial problem, maybe I can find you a gift card for the commissary and you can get some groceries. I’ve helped members with an illness get that co-pay for several thousand dollars that they weren’t expecting. I have some partners that will help pay for something like that.”

Deb is instrumental in helping those with immediate needs while working on year-round programs with local and national organizations.

Her efforts include events that provide free back-to-school supplies for children, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas gifts to those in need. She has organized overnight camps for children of deployed service members. She has fostered relationships with local and national organizations including the Red Cross, Operation Homefront, the 4-H club, the Greater Pittsburgh Commissary, the Pittsburgh Grand Masonic Lodge and March of Dimes.

With many unwritten roles and responsibilities, Deb can find a way to help those in need.

“I’m like the referral agency for whatever you’re looking for,” said Deb.

As of late she’s been recognized for her work with off-base organizations.

Recently, Deb has worked in conjunction with the Masons, Phillips and March of Dimes. Their collaborations went on to win a proposal that enabled the 171st to host a Mommy-to-be-Celebration. This event was designed to provide expecting mothers with much-needed baby supplies that they may not otherwise have been able to afford.

Deb keeps busy with different charities and organizations as helping others is an integral part of her life.

I have been working with the people of the 171st for almost my whole life, said Deb.

It’s a life of service and care that is reflected in the landmark recognition she’s earned.

Deborah Krall has made herself into an institution. She works diligently to provide help wherever and whenever she can. Her dedication to the members of the 171st and their families shows in her enthusiasm and the energy she exemplifies. Her passion is expressed in the spirit of her character. The Meritorious Civilian Service Award is only a small token with which we can thank Deb for all that she’s given of herself.