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President Obama commends retired Jamaican-born air force colonel

Friday, July 25, 2014    

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WASHINGTON, DC, USA — United States President Barack Obama has commended Jamaican-born Jacqueline Motherselle Payne-Borden for her 28 years of sterling service to the US Air Force Reserve Nurses Corps.

The commendation from the US president was among accolades bestowed on Col Payne-Borden at her recent retirement ceremony held at the Fort McNair Officer's Club here in Washington. It was attended by more than 200 army officials, dignitaries, friends and family members.

Payne-Borden served the 779th medical group at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland as chief nurse executive.

President Obama, in his commendation read by clinical systems nurse assistant, Major Nattasha Sutton, extended his personal thanks and sincere appreciation for her honourable service to the United States.

"You have helped maintain the security of the nation during a critical time in its history, with a devotion to duty and a spirit of sacrifice in keeping with the proud tradition of military service," he said.

He noted that her commitment and dedication have been an inspiration to those who would follow in her footsteps and called for all Americans to join with him in saluting her for a job extremely well done.

Jamaica's Ambassador to the US Stephen Vasciannie, in a citation extending congratulations on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, stated that "through your hard work and exemplary performance you have risen to the rank of colonel in this noble and vitally important institution, where your career began as a flight nurse caring for the wounded, ill and injured.

"It is commendable that in your quest to continue excelling in your chosen field, you have demonstrated commitment to the assigned task and dedication to duty,"

said Vasciannie.

Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Anthony Brown, praised Col Payne-Borden for her dedicated and outstanding service and for her high standard of professionalism and commitment to duty.

Col Sandra Tynes, in paying tribute on behalf of the US Air Force, said that

Col Payne-Borden "was the quintessential professional in seeing to the recovery of a former American hostage".

She noted that her tireless dedication and contribution have positively impacted the delivery of quality health care, both in garrison and in deployed settings. "Through your service you have been an exemplary nurse corps officer whose passion has been to provide exceptional care and compassion to our heroes, past and future," she added.

Col Payne-Borden, in her response, said she was honoured to have served and implored young Americans to look to the US Army as a career option.

There were also citations, letters of commendation and proclamations from the Maryland House of Delegates; Chief Nurse of the US Air Force, Major General Dorothy Hogg; and County Executive of Prince Georges County, Maryland Rushern Baker.

Among those in attendance at the retirement ceremony were Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Jamaica Marsha Coore-Lobban; and former Jamaican deputy representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Curtis Ward and wife, Sonia Ward.

Col Payne-Borden serves as president of the Washington-based Jamaica Nationals Association.

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