Awards Presented at the 2021 Annual Veterans Day Honors Program

Patriot of the Year

This award has been presented since the creation of the Mobile Bay Area Veterans Day Commission in 1986. The selection committee includes representatives of the Commission, Veterans Service Organizations and community leaders.Suggestions for individuals to be considered may be forwarded to any member of the Veterans Day Commission.


  2021 Receipient

    Honorable Bradley R. Byrne

he U.S. Representative for Alabama’s First Congressional District from 2014 to 2021. His service included membership on the Armed Services Committee, where he was an advocate for strengthening America’s defense, especially in shipbuilding and the creation of the new Space Force. As part of this committee he served on the subcommittees on Strategic Forces, and Seapower and Projection Forces. These assignments permitted him to be a strong advocate for Gulf shipyards including full funding of the Independence-class littoral combat ships (LCS) constructed at Austal. He was also a member of the Committee on Education and Labor and was appointed by two Speakers to the prestigious Rules Committee.

Full Honors Program biography is located here.






Veteran of the Year

Nominations for a local Veteran of the Year are solicited annually by the Veterans Day Commission. Individuals and/or organizations my submit nominations. A nominee is considered for three years. If selected, the recipient may not be re-nominted.

    2021 Recipient

Master Gunnery Sergeant Cynthia L. House, USMC (Ret)

A native of Mobile, Cynthia House was a 1971 graduate of Bishop Toolen Catholic High School for Girls. After a year at Dillard University, Cynthia joined the United States Marine Corps Following boot camp at Parris Island, SC, Cynthia was sent to her Military Occupational Training at Camp Montford Point outside Camp Lejeune, NC and reported to her first duty station, then known as Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, GA. Challenging the administrative assignments typically given to women, Cynthia was transferred to the warehousing area where she would track and report on equipment being returned from areas of conflict.
She was then assigned to Okinawa, Japan with temporary duty assignments to Tiapai, Taiwan and Seoul, Korea. Returning stateside House served with the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing in New Orleans, where she was assigned to the Commanding General’s inspection team to prepare Reserve units for Inspector General inspections and Mobilization Operational Readiness Deployment. In support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm she was part of the team established to create USMC units.

Since her retirement, MGySgt House has been affiliated with numerous civic and veteran organizations. She is the National Journal Director for the National Montford Point Marine Association and Vice President of Mobile’s Chapter 33. She is also active in the South Alabama Veterans Council, and the Mobile Bay Area Veterans Day Commission where since 2015 she has served as the Vice President, Honors Luncheon. MGySgt House was also the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 recipient of the J. Gary Cooper Community Service Award.

Full Honors Program biography is located here.



Lists of Past Receipients and Criteria for Selection

Veterans of the Year 1997-2020                                            Patriots of the Year  1986-2020