The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) named Lt. Evita Salles, director of reserve officer accessions for Navy Recruiting Command, as the winner of the Salute to Active Duty Servicewomen Award at the group’s national convention in Cincinnati, Aug. 30.

The mission of the ALA is to support the American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad.

“It was a tremendous honor receiving this award and being recognized by the American Legion Auxiliary,” said Salles. “It is a reminder to me that I am on the right track with what I am doing with my life, and it motivates me to keep on striving to higher levels of excellence.”

Recipients are selected by the Past Presidents Parley, a national committee comprised of past presidents of the ALA.

“I was nominated by my good friend, Doreen Gallagher, who actively volunteers with the ALA,” said Salles. “We have been friends since elementary school, so she knows me pretty well. She knew of the types of things I have been involved with both within the Navy and outside the Navy, so she felt I would be a great pick to nominate for the award.”

Having known Salles for so long, Gallagher was certain the Neptune, N.J., native would be a perfect candidate for the award.

 “Lt. Salles embodies the American Legion Auxiliary Mission Statement of ‘in the spirit of service, not self’ in her personal life and in her military career,” said Gallagher. “She showed her commitment to the local community by participating in local community service projects and being involved in her local church. I am absolutely thrilled that she won this award. It truly is an honor to know her personally. She is truly deserving of this award.”

Salles, recognizing the importance of the ALA, looks to inspire others to the noble cause of the organization.

“The ALA does so much volunteer work for veterans, military service members and their families and they have so many incredible projects and programs going on throughout the year,” said Salles. “They truly embody the spirit of service! “

After winning the award, Salles hopes to continue her path of service in the future.


“After I retire someday, I’d love to continue serving and leading others within the military or another organization—wherever I am called to serve,” said Salles. “I hope that my children and future generations will continue the family tradition of loyal and devoted military service to others. I hope to continue growing and maturing spiritually, mentally and physically toward the best version of myself and helping others do the same. I will not stop growing, serving and helping others until it is my time to go. I am drawn to step in and help my fellow man and woman with all that I have whether it’s my last few breaths or my full capacity. I believe I am called to do this, and it makes me feel fulfilled and alive. ”


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)