Government: Career Employees

The individuals in this category have dedicated their lives to public service. This category honors individuals who devote their lives to serving the interests of veterans, or the public good, and their work is appreciated and recognized by many in the community.

Barbara Carson, Small Business Administration, Air Force Reserve

Ms. Barbara Carson joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington, D.C. in June 2013. She serves as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), where she aims to empower Veteran entrepreneurship. In this role, Ms. Carson oversees the OVBD team in formulating, implementing, administering and promoting policies and programs that equip veteran, service member (active duty, National Guard, Reserve), and military spouse owned small businesses with counseling and education, access to capital, and contracting opportunities. Carson is currently a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve (USAFR) assigned to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs. Ms. Carson has served over 20 years as an active duty and reserve officer. While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, she founded a small business with a fellow veteran and continues to be passionate about entrepreneurship opportunities for military service members, veterans and their spouses.


Sergeant Kevin Briggs, California Highway Patrol

In this photo taken Tuesday, April 30, 2013 California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs poses by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. About 1,500 people have plunged from the bridge, making it one of the world’s favorite suicide spots. During his 20 years patrolling the bridge Briggs has managed to talk many despondent people out of taking the fatal fall. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Former California Highway Patrol Sergeant and Army Infantryman Kevin Briggs worked for more than 20 years on the Golden Gate Bridge using his compassion, gentle voice, eye contact, and his innate ability of “listening to understand” to prevent the suicides of more than 200 people, earning him the nickname: “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.” Briggs’ story and experiences have been featured as a TEDTalk and has been written about in USA Today, People Magazine, The New Yorker Magazine, as well as other magazines, newspapers, radio, and podcasts across the world. His first book, Guardian of the Golden Gate: Protecting the Line Between Hope and Despair, was released in July 2015. Today, Briggs speaks publicly about his suicide prevention and crisis encounters with people on the bridge through Pivotal Points, an organization he founded to promote Crisis Management, Suicide Prevention, and Leadership Skills


Theodore Wong, Department of Veterans Affairs, Marine Corp Reserves

Theodore L. Wong distinguishes himself both within the Department of Veterans Affairs and in his continued service to his country in the Marine Corps Reserve. He embodies the ideals of duty, honor, country and daily demonstrates the core values and attributes of veterans that continue to represent our great nation. In addition to his work in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ted has been an actively drilling US Marine Corps Reservist for over 32 years and was recalled to service on Sep 11, 2017 to serve as the Assistant Chief of Staff-Public Affairs Department for the US Marine Forces Reserve and provided leadership and media products throughout Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. His awards include: 2007 Marine Corp Servicemember of the Year, The Federal Asian Pacific American Council Military Meritorious Service Award. In addition he received New Orlean’s Federal Employee Meritorious Service Award for his voluntary contributions to New Orleans and the Veteran community. He raised awareness and worked to reduce homelessness, partook in recovery operations following Hurricane Katrina and helped with adoption efforts for abandoned dogs and cats.

Judge Halee F. Weinstein, Maryland District Court

In 2015, Maryland District Court Judge Halee F. Weinstein, U.S. Army veteran, established and presides over the Baltimore City Veterans Treatment Docket, a court-supervised, comprehensive and voluntary treatment-based program for military veterans charged with misdemeanor or certain felonies. The docket, which launched last fall, emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration. “This specialized docket allows us to coordinate resources and draw on the skills of a strong, interdisciplinary team to focus on the unique concerns and needs of the veterans who come to our courts,” said Judge Weinstein.

“The collaboration among our justice partners and the VA Maryland Health Care System is instrumental to the success of the program. The docket works to ensure that veterans are connected to the benefits and treatment earned through their military service.” Since its inception, the docket has expanded from offering two afternoon dockets a month to two full-day dockets a month to accommodate growing interest in veteran-specific rehabilitation. Veterans who participate in the docket are partnered with a mentor (also a veteran) through the Maryland State Bar Association.