Powers given Spirit of Hope award for America 300 efforts
December 12, 2014
Rob Powers has traveled the globe giving to members of the United States military.
Through the America 300 Foundation he founded eight years ago, he's brought people with amazing stories to the troops serving in war zones, allowing those visitors to inspire the troops and the troops to inspire visitors.
This week, the military gave back.
Powers, who served in the 1980s with the U.S. Army, was honored with the U.S. Coast Guard's Spirit of Hope award, presented by the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and the Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zukunft.
"When the admiral called me this summer to say that I had been chosen to represent the Coast Guard and received the Spirit of Bob Hope award, it blew me away," Powers said in a news release. "It's one of the greatest honors I've ever had bestowed upon me in my entire life."
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The Spirit of Hope award is meant to go to those who carry on the spirit of Bob Hope, the comedian who was well known not just for his movies, his TV show appearances and his stand-up, but for his 57 tours with the United Service Organizations, entertaining troops from World War II in 1941 through to the Persian Gulf War in 1990.
Powers may have a few trips to go to catch Hope, but the way he's logged them in his eight years with America 300 there's no telling where he'll end up.
He's led tours near and far, and while he's used all sorts of athletes and speakers, from gold medal winners to former prisoners of war, he's often turned to Steamboat residents.
Earlier this year, he took a team from Manic Training in Steamboat Springs to Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, and last month his organization announced a tour of the Middle East featuring Steamboat Springs astronaut, recently returned from the International Space Station, Steve Swanson.
After the 2010 Winter Olympics, he took the Steamboat-heavy, silver-medal winning Nordic combined squad to Iraq and Qatar.
In 2013, he took Olympic bronze medalist Nelson Carmichael and three-time Olympic Alpine skier Caroline Lalive-Carmichael to Kyrgyzstan to meet with deployed troops.
In 2011, he took Eric Meyer and Chhiring Dorje Sherpa, Himalayan mountain climbers, to Japan to climb Mount Fuji with a unit of Marines.
In February, he traveled with former U.S. team rowers Dan Beery and former Steamboat resident Sean Colgan to Thule Air Base in Greenland, then carried out another tour that included Olympic and X Games snowboarding medal winner Erin (Simmons) Nemec, also formerly of Steamboat, and made stops at Air Force bases in the United States.
That's just a fraction of his efforts. It's been a tireless journey for Powers as he's visited nearly 400 bases.
The military noticed and presented him with its "thank you."