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Army & Air Force Exchange Service Corporate Communications

DALLAS -- Wanda Clayton, Credit Risk Manager for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, became the first ever recipient of the Air Force Wounded Warrior "Care Beyond Duty" award on March 11.

Clayton went "above and beyond the call of duty," providing exceptional support to a Wounded Warrior who is undergoing severe personal family financial hardship due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosed after he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. By working with the Senior Airman on credit concerns related to a Military StarSM Card account, Clayton was able to forgive a portion of the debt to help protect the family from a potential financial crisis. Upon hearing her story, the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program created the "Care Beyond Duty" award to recognize those who go out of their way to take care of Wounded Warriors.

"Ms. Clayton demonstrated a genuine personal interest and compassion toward this Airman and his family," said Lt Col David L. Bringhurst, Air Force Wounded Warrior Program Manager. "The positive impact she made on this family will be felt immediately and for years to come. It is also worth noting that she is the first recipient of this new recognition from the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program leadership and staff, a real testament to the level of commitment she's shown to our wounded warriors."

Clayton received the award in a ceremony at AAFES Headquarters in Dallas, TX. Air Force and AAFES officials worked together to ensure that Clayton was unaware she would be recognized. While she and her coworkers, in addition to local media, gathered around for what they thought was an award presentation for her boss, AAFES Chief Financial Officer Harold Lavender surprised Clayton with the award.

"While I was certainly honored and surprised to receive this award, I was just doing my job," said Clayton. "It's extremely important to help our Wounded Warriors to the fullest extent that we can and it was truly rewarding for me to assist this Air Force family."