By Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake, 55 Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 15, 2017
Second Lt. Valyn Gipson, 55th Medical Support Squadron medical information systems flight commander, speaks to members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Dec. 12, 2017, at the Faith Christian Church, Omaha, Nebraska. Gipson extensively volunteers in her community which falls in line with the mission of DAR. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake)
Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution gather for their monthly meeting Dec. 12, 2017, at the Faith Christian Church, Omaha, Nebraska. Each table was adjourned with different member’s Christmas collection dishes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake)
A photo portraying historical Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR) members stands ready for viewing Dec. 12, 2017, at the Faith Christian Church, Omaha, Nebraska. DAR has been an all-female non-profit organization for more than 100 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake)
Kim Jusutus, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) member, and 2nd Lt. Valyn Gipson, 55th Medical Support Squadron medical information systems flight commander, stand for a photo during a DAR meeting Dec. 12, 2017, at the Faith Christian Church, Omaha, Nebraska. Gipson was presented the DAR Excellence in Community Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake)
A company grade officer from the 55th Medical Support Squadron was recently presented the Daughters of the American Revolution Excellence in Community Service Award at the Faith Christian Church, Omaha, Nebraska.
The DAR, whose motto is “God, Home and Country,” was founded in 1890 and is a non-profit all-female organization comprised of members who have lineage from the American Revolution. According to their website, they are dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America's future through better education for children.
Second Lt. Valyn Gipson, 55th MDSS medical information systems flight commander, was born and raised in Omaha. She fit well as their award recipient based on her on her extensive work in the realm of mentorship.
“I am very honored today,” said Kim Justus, DAR member. “I put a lot of thought into what type of person we should submit for this award. We all know that the outstanding service award is not given for an occupation, even if it is service-oriented, but for what people do in the community outside of their occupation.”
Gipson’s community involvement has always been a priority to her, but it really started to ramp up in her early college years.
“I received my bachelors from Creighton University in business with an emphasis in human resources,” she said. “I worked in HR during college and a few years after. I later realized I wanted to work in education, working with transitioning high school and college students. So, I went back to school and got my masters in counseling with an emphasis in higher education and student affairs.”
She pursued her graduate degree at University of Nebraska at Omaha where she also took the opportunity to become an academic advisor. In 2016, she joined the military, but it did not slow her down.
She recently graduated from Creighton University again with a Master’s in business administration. While this may seem like a full workload to some, she was also juggling a number of mentoring opportunities.
“I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a community service organization,” Gipson said. “We do many different community support activities. The committees that I am most passionate about are those that deal with high school mentorship and scholarships.”
She also reads at Belvedere Elementary, Omaha, Nebraska, and talks to the children about her job and about what they want to do when they grow up.
“I enjoy working with the youth because I truly believe it is rewarding and necessary,” Gipson said. “It increases high school graduation rates, lowers high school dropout rates, enhances their self-esteem, and self-confidence and so many other benefits to the youth and their families. I think it's important for young children to have a positive role model.”
She also does individual mentorship. Gipson is currently working with a high school senior on college applications to include her essay and resume. It doesn’t stop there.
“I was recently elected to the Board of Directors for a new 501 3C called Bellevue Offutt Rising Professionals, which [prior 55th Wing Command Chief] Chief Master Sgt. Michael Morris nominated me for,” Gipson said. “The BORP is a non-profit, created by and for individuals focused on engaging rising business professionals in our community. Specifically the BORP bridge military and civilian professionals through innovative programming enhancing the Bellevue and Offutt Community's long-term economic vitality of quality of life.”
Although her recent award win wasn’t for work-related accomplishments, she carries her passions into her work at Offutt.
“I've enjoyed my time in the Air Force so far because I'm able to help my Airmen personally and professionally, helping them as I helped my former students,” Gipson said.