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James E. (Ted) Bassett III Navy Public Service Award 2007


Lexington, KY: On the 232nd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, Saturday, November 10, 2007, Keeneland Association, Inc. board member and decorated World War II veteran James E. (Ted) Bassett III was presented with the Department of the Navy “Superior Public Service Award.” It is the second-highest civilian honor bestowed by the Department of the Navy and recognizes significant contributions by a civilian to the Navy, Marine Corps or entire Department of the Navy. The award was presented during the 15th annual invitational breakfast celebrating the birthday of The Corps, at the Thoroughbred Club of America.

Mr. Bassett received the award in recognition of “significant contributions and unflagging support of the United States Marine Corps for 64 years.” This prestigious award was officially presented to Mr. Bassett by Marine Corps Major General Richard A. Huck, who commanded the 2nd Marine Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the Corps,” Mr. Bassett said. “It is a classic example of Marine Corps 101 — taking a nobody and trying to make a somebody out of him.” Mr. Bassett enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 and rose from private to first lieutenant, leading a rifle platoon in combat during the battle of Okinawa, where he was wounded. He participated in the mainland Japan landings and was discharged in 1946. Mr. Bassett has hosted three Marine Corps University Foundation fundraisers. Since 1992, he has hosted the annual Marine Corps Birthday Breakfast at Keeneland or the Thoroughbred Club of America, thereby ensuring the continuing tradition of Marines celebrating their heritage.

Most recently, Mr. Bassett assumed the duties of Chairman, Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky, an umbrella organization serving the entire Marine Corps community within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. “Throughout his distinguished career as a Marine and as a private citizen, Mr. Bassett continues to epitomize ‘once a Marine, always a Marine,’ ” stated the Superior Public Service Award citation. “Mr. Bassett’s selfless patriotism and dedication reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”

Mr. Bassett also received the coveted U.S. Marine Corps’ Semper Fidelis Award in April 1990.

Mr. Bassett has been associated with Keeneland for almost four decades, serving as president from 1970 until 1986, chairman of the board from 1986 until 2001, and Keeneland trustee from 1993 through 2006. He continues to serve as a member of the Keeneland Association, Inc. board of directors.

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