Hornets, Bank of America To Honor Senior Master Sergeant Melvin Barnes As Third Yellow Ribbon Recipient of 2018-19 Season

by Quinton Wash

February 1, 2019 – The Charlotte Hornets and Bank of America tomorrow will honor Senior Master Sergeant Melvin Barnes, USAF, Ret., as this season’s third recipient of the season-long Yellow Ribbon Program. In partnership with Bank of America, the Hornets honor military service members and veterans for their unwavering service to our country and their impact in the community. The Yellow Ribbon Program recognizes one of these heroes during Hornets home games throughout the season. Recipients are acknowledged prior to the national anthem and during an on-court presentation at halftime and given six tickets to the game. In addition, the Hornets make a $1,000 donation to his or her charity of choice. Senior Master Sergeant Barnes has selected the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy in New London, North Carolina, which is a military-style school for at-risk teens sponsored by the North Carolina National Guard.

“We are honored to recognize Senior Master Sergeant Barnes for his 37 years of protecting our country,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We thank him for his service during his career and for his efforts today helping at-risk teens and others in our community.”

Senior Master Sergeant Barnes enlisted in 1978 and spent 37 years serving his country in the Air Force and the North Carolina Air National Guard, mostly dealing with hazardous materials and warehousing. He developed and implemented short-term and long-term strategic plans, including inventory and purchasing control systems that improved accountability for hazardous materials, waste reduction and sustainability. Stationed at various bases throughout the country, Senior Master Sergeant Barnes served as a technical advisor to the Wing Commander regarding the hazardous materials program and related issues, and as an advisor to the Safety Counsel, in addition to being a member of Hazmat Planning Teams and Environmental Protection Committees. He also implemented and managed base Hazmat Pharmacy programs, developed base regulations and procedures around Hazmat requirements, conducted Hazmat training for base personnel and managed the Hazmat/Ozone Depletion System that tracks hazardous materials for deployments and redeployments.

For his distinguished service, Senior Master Sergeant Barnes received the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (4th Award), Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal (11th Award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Humanitarian Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award (8th Award), Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, North Carolina National Guard Achievement Medal, North Carolina National Guard State Active Duty Award, North Carolina National Guard Service Ribbon (5th Award) and North Carolina National Guard Meritorious Unit Citation.

A native of Concord, NC, Senior Master Sergeant Barnes currently serves as the regional director of the USAF Graduate Association and as the logistics manager at the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy in New London, NC, where he is also a member of the disciplinary board and a mentor to many of the students. In addition, Senior Master Sergeant Barnes is active in a number of non-profit organizations within the community, including Susan G. Komen Charlotte, United Way of Central Carolinas and various church leadership roles.

This season’s previous Yellow Ribbon honorees were Colonel Cristina Moore, North Carolina Army National Guard; and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Krueger, USAF, Ret. To nominate a military service member or veteran for the Yellow Ribbon Program, please visit hornets.com/community/military.

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