Kirtland Associate Recognized for Devotion to Helping Veterans, Community

Melissa Oranday receives the One Albuquerque Award last month from Mayor Tim Keller.

For helping Veterans find services they need, the Exchange’s Melissa Oranday received the One Albuquerque Award last month from Mayor Tim Keller.

The award is given to Albuquerque residents who go above and beyond their service to the public. Keller recognized Oranday, HR recruiter at Kirtland AFB, for volunteering at several organizations.

Oranday stays active with Veterans, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Roadrunner Food Bank, American Heart Association, New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Kirtland’s Our Lady of the Sandias Catholic Community.

“When I volunteer, I not only represent the Exchange but also the Kirtland AFB community,” Oranday said, who has worked at the Exchange for 11 years.

Her grandmother taught her about the importance of volunteering.

“I learned more about the importance helping Veterans when I joined the Exchange family and was exposed to the culture and saw and heard about all that our military members sacrifice,” said Oranday, who has also worked at the Fort Bliss and Little Rock AFB Exchanges.

A Veteran who Oranday has known since college nominated her for the One Albuquerque Award. The Veteran, who didn’t want her name used, moved back to Albuquerque, but faced family, income and job troubles.

Oranday explained the benefits for Veterans working at the Exchange, recruited her for a job and lined her up with Veteran organizations to find child care and housing.

“I have witnessed her drive and commitment to the people who she works with and military community they serve,” the Veteran said, in her nomination form. “It is no exaggeration that Melissa Oranday is vitally important to the associates she works with. She is always willing to stop and help others no matter how busy she may be. She has a heart of gold and is a great mentor and example who influences the many people that have crossed her path.

“She is an inspiration to all around her.”

One of them is Wayne Hansen.

“Congratulations on a job well done!” said Hansen, a Western Region vice president. “In addition to going a great job for the Exchange, thank you for supporting the many organizations around the Albuquerque community. Your dedication to making things better is truly inspiring.”

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