By Army and Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
An Army and Air Force Exchange Service associate received the Department of Defense Outstanding Individual with a Disability Award for 2014 during a presentation Nov. 14 at the Little Rock Air Force Base Exchange.
John Perry, senior store associate in the electronics department, was honored for his strong job performance and steadfast commitment to serving Airmen, retirees and their families at Little Rock AFB. Perry, who has been paralyzed from the neck down since birth, provides technical answers to shoppers’ electronics questions, and his positive disposition has helped him forge a bond with the community.
“Getting to know our customers and taking care of them are the best parts of my job,” said Perry. “I get to know some of them personally, too. Sometimes we talk about electronics. Sometimes we talk about sports or something else on their mind. It’s just an honor to serve them.”
Maj. Gen. Joseph Ward, Exchange Deputy Director and Michael Immler, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, honored Perry at the presentation, praising him for his tireless work ethic and passion for serving those who serve.
“John brings his ‘A’ game each and every day to the Airmen assigned to Little Rock and to his fellow Exchange associates,” said Ward. “His warmth and enthusiasm shine through in all he does.”
Immler agreed, citing Perry’s tenacity during his 14-year career at the Exchange.
“John started at the Exchange as a greeter and has worked his way up to senior store associate in the electronics department,” said Immler. “Today, he helps educate shoppers of all ages about the latest technology. Both the Exchange and Little Rock AFB are better for having John on our team.”
Perry commended the Little Rock AFB Exchange team, crediting his fellow associates with always being there for him.
“I appreciate my co-workers and the help they give me,” said Perry. “They deserve praise also.”
Shannon Koder, Exchange assistant store manager who nominated Perry for the award, called him an inspiration to fellow associates, shoppers and community members.
“John has taught us all how the human spirit can ignite an internal flame to achieve more than we thought possible,” said Koder. “He truly embodies the Exchange motto of family serving family.”