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Gwinnett's Operation One Voice hailed as 'Unsung Hero' by SEALs

Operation One Voice Founder Bill Stevens accepts the “Unsung Hero Award” from the SEAL Legacy Foundation from Navy SEAL Cmdr. Mark McGinnis.

Operation One Voice Founder Bill Stevens accepts the “Unsung Hero Award” from the SEAL Legacy Foundation from Navy SEAL Cmdr. Mark McGinnis.

For the past decade, volunteers with Operation One Voice have focused on honoring and helping heroic members of America’s elite military special forces and their families.

But last month, the Gwinnett non-profit itself was been recognized as an “Unsung Hero.”

Bill Stephens, a retired Gwinnett firefighter and Duluth police officer, traveled to Dallas, Texas last month to pick up the award at the SEAL Legacy Foundation’s gala on the same day he and his team completed their ninth Special Operations Forces Run — a trek from Lawrenceville to Tampa, Fla.

“I was extremely honored to be recognized by members of the Navy SEAL community, it was a very humbling experience to spend the evening with some many community which we honor,” Stevens said. “I was also somewhat nervous speaking to so many from the Dallas community including; T. Bone Pinkens, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and county music’s Pat Green.”

“But what stands out the most to me was running into several of the Navy SEALs and one of the SEAL widow’s that we (Operation One Voice) have supported,” he added. “My proudest moment was just prior to going on stage to accept the SEAL Unsung Hero award was receiving a hug from one of the SEAL widows. I believe that show of affection from this widow, demonstrated to all that Operation One Voice was welcomed by those that have sacrificed.”

US Navy SEAL Cmdr. Mark McGinnis, the managing director of the SEAL Legacy Foundation, said the organization deserves kudos for its work supporting the families of wounded and fallen special forces members.

“The SEAL Legacy Foundation is extremely honored and excited to recognize Operation One Voice for all that they do to help America’s Special Operations Forces,” McGinnis said. “Bill Stevens and his fellow Board members, staff and volunteers all share in this award. They serve as a great example of what can be accomplished if you just follow through on your ideas and bring them into reality. Operation One Voice is a true representation of what the Unsung Hero Award stands for.”