Mike Dorman has even more decorations for the Military Missions In Action office. During a reception for Dorman’s Presidential Citizens Medal on Sunday, the MMIA founder received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, a Senatorial statement and a flag flown over the Capitol Building, not to mention a $10,000 donation to the organization.
Dorman’s tireless volunteering was on display during the event at the First United Methodist Church in Fuquay-Varina, but he and the other MMIA volunteers are led to give by the efforts of veterans.
“Military Missions In Action gives to those who selflessly have given for our freedom,” MMIA Board Chairman Jim Riley said.
It’s that passion for the organization that drew N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to MMIA originally.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen another (non-profit) that started off so small and personal and in just a few years has become so respected,” Marshall said to Dorman at the reception. “You proved that one man with a few friends and a handful of resources can make a difference in the lives of many.”
Marshall and N.C. State Auditor Beth Wood presented Dorman with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, a distinction usually given to state employees when they retire, but given to non-employees for extraordinary citizenship.
And while volunteerism is at an all-time high across the United States, President Barack Obama told attendees of the medal ceremony that it’s the work of those like Dorman that led the way.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for showing us what it means to be a great citizen,” the President said during the Feb. 15 ceremony.
State Senators Tamara Barringer and Ronald Rabin presented Dorman with a Senatorial statement that will be read into the N.C. Senate Journal this week.
Mayor John Byrne presented Dorman with the Key to the City of Fuquay-Varina as well.
While the Key to the City doesn’t fit into all of the doors in Fuquay, Byrne said it does fit the heart of each person.
“The Key to the City represents every citizen,” he said.
Humbly, Dorman puts the spotlight on the many that stand with him – both the volunteers and the veterans.
“(The veterans) need our time, talents and our gifts,” he said.
And that need will be there as long as men and women put on the uniform.
Quoting Proverbs 3:5-6, Dorman said he has leaned on God and started the organization for His glory.
Mr. Dorman goes to Washington
While in Washington, D.C., Dorman met with Sen. Richard Burr, Sen. Kay Hagan, Sen. John McCain, Rep. George Holding and Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr. the day before receiving the medal from the President.
“Thursday was a great day of telling MMIA’s story,” the organization’s treasurer, Keith McCombs, said.
When Burr asked how he could help MMIA, Dorman told the senator to open his checkbook.
“(Mike Dorman) is never shy about how you can help MMIA and help our veterans,” McCombs said.
And the organization got a great response. Burr and his committee donated $10,000 to MMIA. Betty Joe Shepheard of Burr’s office said the senator really believes in the work MMIA is doing.
“The care of our veterans is absolutely the passion of the senator,” she said when she presented the donation at the reception.
Holding even committed to showing up at a job site with his hammer and apron, ready to work.
Dorman always has garnered support locally.
Snapdragon Thrift Store on Hwy 55 donates profits to MMIA. Owner Michele Collier got involved with the organization when she helped assemble care packages with Troop 75. Now, her kids help with Run the Quay each June and she sees the store as a way to do something she loves and give to a worthy cause.
The Woman’s Club of Clayton learned about MMIA through a newspaper article originally and the group’s Public Issues Committee decided to get involved. The women raise funds for the organization and even have gone to some sites to help clean.
But the second-highest national award for civilians has brought even more exposure to MMIA’s cause.
IMRE, the public relations firm that has adopted MMIA, said 29 million people were exposed to the Fuquay-Varina-based organization in February from news media coverage of Dorman’s award.
“It was an awareness our organization couldn’t have gotten otherwise,” McCombs said.
But, with that exposure came more calls for help. Now, he just needs the funds to match.
“I’m confident a surge in donations will come,” Dorman said.
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.