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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honor, recognize, & celebrate the men and women of the sea services.

The Bridges Family, Brian Lamb, Jerry Coleman & Bob Feller to Receive Coveted Lone Sailor Award

Prominent Sea Service Veterans to be Recognized for Service to Country and Community at September 22nd Dinner Gala

WASHINGTON, D.C. [May 31, 2011] – Coast Guard veterans Beau, Jeff and Lloyd Bridges, Navy veteran and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb, World War II & Korean War Marine combat aviator and former Yankees player Jerry Coleman, and World War II Navy veteran and MLB Hall of Famer Bob Feller, will be honored for their service to country and community at the United States Navy Memorial’s 2011 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner on Thursday, September 22.  The black tie gala will be held at The National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 

The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.  In receiving the Lone Sailor Award, the Bridges family, Lamb, Coleman and Feller join an impressive list of men and women who have distinguished themselves by drawing upon their military experience.

    “Our honorees are  examples of how service to country changes lives and helps develop leaders – whether it be in the world of sports, politics, government, the private sector or the arts,” said Rear Adm. Edward K. Walker, Jr., SC, USN (Ret.), President and CEO of the United States Navy Memorial.  “The common theme they all express is that their public service has given them a solid foundation for their careers and instilled in them the enduring values that propel them to leadership positions in their respective careers.”

Beau Bridges is the older brother of Jeff Bridges and son of Lloyd Bridges.  The nickname "Beau" stuck with Bridges from an early age, and was originally based on his resemblance to the young actor who played Leslie Howard's son in Gone with the Wind.  Bridges made his film debut at age seven in No Minor Vices, and had his first major role the next year in The Red Pony.  He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1959 and also served for eight years in the Coast Guard Reserve.  While he has appeared in about a hundred films and dozens of television shows to date, Bridges does not limit himself to just acting; he is also a gifted director and producer.

Jeff Bridges, the son of actor Lloyd Bridges, appeared in his first movie as an infant with his mother, Dorothy, in the 1950 melodrama The Company She Keeps.  Bridges moved to New York to study acting at the famed Herbert Berghof Studio after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 1960s and later as a reservist in the early 1970s.  Throughout his acting career, Bridges has won numerous awards for various roles, including an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2009 for his lead role in Crazy Heart.  In addition to his acting achievements, Bridges has also written more than 200 songs, a talent which he memorably incorporated in The Fabulous Baker Boys.  In 1983, he founded the End Hunger Network and became spokesman in 2010 for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

Lloyd Bridges was an American actor who starred in a number of television series and appeared in more than 150 feature films.  Bridges, best known for his role in Sea Hunt, made his Broadway debut in 1939 in a production of Shakespeare's Othello.  In 1941, he joined the stock company at Columbia Pictures, where he played small roles in features and short subjects.  Bridges left Columbia to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard; however, following World War II, he returned to film acting.  A committed environmentalist, he was involved in several organizations including the American Oceans Campaign and Heal the Bay, a Los Angeles-based group.  Shortly before his passing on March 10, 1998, Bridges had completed work on two films, Jane Austen's Mafia and Meeting Daddy. In the latter film, Bridges co-starred with his eldest son, Beau.

Brian Lamb is the founder and chief executive officer of C-SPAN.  Born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, Lamb earned a degree from Purdue University before joining the U.S. Navy.  His tour included White House duty in the Johnson administration and a stint in the Pentagon public affairs office during the Vietnam War.  Lamb has said his time in the Navy "was probably the most important thing [he's] ever done."  After various jobs in the communications field, Lamb pitched his idea of a non-profit channel to cable executives, which was approved in 1977.  C-SPAN began broadcasts two years later.  Lamb married at age 63 and now lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Jerry Coleman, born in 1924 in California, joined the U.S. Marine Corps in October 1942 as a naval aviation cadet.  Coleman was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and received his wings in 1944.  After being stationed on various military bases, he boarded a troop ship to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands as a replacement pilot.  He flew 57 combat missions in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines.   In 1949, Coleman joined the New York Yankees and received the Rookie of the Year award.  The following season, he was an American League All-Star and the MVP in the 1950 World Series.  He was called up for active duty in the Korean War, and after finishing his combat tour, rejoined the Yankees.  Upon retirement in 1957, Coleman began his distinguished career as a sports announcer and is currently the radio voice of the San Diego Padres.  He was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame in 2001 and was named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence in 2005. 

Bob Feller, originally from Van Meter, Iowa, became a professional baseball athlete at the age of 17, after he struck out eight members of the St. Louis Cardinals in three innings of an exhibition game.  He joined the Cleveland Indians without ever having played a game in the minors.  On December 8, 1941, Feller enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became an anti-aircraft gunner aboard the USS Alabama.  After the War, he returned to Major League Baseball and the Indians where he regained his dominance on the mound.  He spent 18 years with the Indians.  Although his military career consumed four prime baseball years, Feller ranks 28th in history with 266 wins. Feller was accepted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.  Feller is the only Chief Petty Officer in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
For more information on the U.S. Navy Memorial’s 2011 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner – including sponsorship and ticket prices, or for a list of award recipients, go to the Navy Memorial’s web site at www.navymemorial.org, or contact M.C. Dunn, Director, Corporate Relations & Special Events, at (202) 380-0728 or mcdunn@navymemorial.org.  To arrange an interview or to access images of the awardees, contact Linda Heiss at (703) 417-2709 or lindah@lindarothpr.com.
About the United States Navy Memorial
Conveniently located on Pennsylvania Avenue – halfway between the White House and the Capitol, the United States Navy Memorial provides a living tribute to Navy people and a place for them to gather and celebrate their service. The outdoor plaza features a “Granite Sea” map of the world, towering masts with signal flags, fountain pools and waterfalls and The Lone Sailor© statue.  Adjacent to the plaza is the Naval Heritage Center, where visitors can find educational displays about the contributions of the men and women of the Sea Services (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine).  Also housed in the Naval Heritage Center is the Navy Log – the online place for Navy people to stay connected with each other, celebrate their service and preserve the memories of their service.  There, Navy veterans can build a record of their service online.  Call (202) 737-2300 or visit www.navymemorial.org for more information.