First Infantry Division leaders
recognized five new Distinguished Troopers June 11.
The Fort Riley
Distinguished Trooper Award is the most prestigious award to be bestowed on a
private citizen by Fort Riley officials.
The award recognizes sustained,
superior public service and contributions to the Fort Riley military community by
This year’s recipients are Fred
Willich, Neil Horton, retired Col. John Seitz, Peggy Heldstab and Larry Paquette.
Paquette’s wife, Ligia Paquette, accepted on behalf of her late husband. She is
a previous Distinguished Trooper.
Willich created a
commercial interior drywall business in the 1990s. The company is a member of the
Manhattan and Junction City chambers of commerce, and supports each community’s
military affairs initiatives. Willich also is a local Association of the U.S.
Army board member.
Horton is vice president and
CEO of a local construction company that has had a relationship with the installation
for about 80 years.
Seitz is director of the Junction
City Military Affairs Council, and a member of numerous community and
Heldstab has been a speech
pathologist in Unified School District 475 Geary County Schools for more than
20 years and has coached sports at the middle and high school level. Her
husband, Terry, is a Distinguished Trooper.
Paquette was executive vice
president of a local bank, and was involved in the communities of Junction City
and Geary County.
He and Ligia were mainstays at many Fort Riley events
and were always present to welcome home redeploying Soldiers. Ligia was named a
Distinguished Trooper in 2010.