Payson and the Rim Country have a lot of proud families and friends of men and women serving in the Middle East. One of the proudest these days is Paul Pitkin.
Pitkin's son, Blaine, is a lieutenant serving aboard the USS Trenton, an amphibious transport dock stationed off the coast of Africa.
Lt. Pitkin was recently presented the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for evacuating more than 3,000 U.S. citizens from Beirut, Lebanon during the hostilities between the Hezbollah and Israel.
The evacuation was accomplished in a little more than 24 hours, Paul Pitkin said.
"Lt. Pitkin performed his demanding duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner," according the certificate which accompanied the July 28 award.
In an e-mail to his father here in Payson, the lieutenant wrote, "I would have rather he gave more awards or recognition to my guys that did all the hard work, but it's done now. I just did the job I am here to do, nothing more."
Pitkin said his son has always been like that, doing a good job and sharing the rewards with those who helped him.