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"We can NOT hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work - the men and women of the military and the intellegence services - they are the true Keepers of the Flame."
- Vice President Richard B Cheney
The Keeper of the Flame Award was inaugurated in 1990 by the Center for Security Policy to bestow recognition on those individuals who devote their public careers to the propagation of democracy and the respect for individual rights throughout the world. The Award acknowledges both the past contributions of its recipients and to remind others who share their commitment to freedom and economic opportunity of the work yet to be done.
In 2009, the Center for Security Policy is proud to honor Vice President Richard Cheney with its annual Keeper of the Flame Award.
Vice President Richard B. Cheney has had a distinguished career as a businessman and public servant, serving four Presidents and as an elected official. Throughout his service, Mr. Cheney served with duty, honor, and unwavering leadership, gaining him the respect of the American people during trying military times.
Mr. Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 30, 1941 and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He earned his bachelor's and master's of arts degrees from the University of Wyoming. His career in public service began in 1969 when he joined the Nixon Administration, serving in a number of positions at the Cost of Living Council, at the Office of Economic Opportunity, and within the White House.
When Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency in August 1974, Mr. Cheney served on the transition team and later as Deputy Assistant to the President. In November 1975, he was named Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff, a position he held throughout the remainder of the Ford Administration.
After he returned to his home state of Wyoming in 1977, Mr. Cheney was elected to serve as the state's sole Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected five times and elected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee from 1981 to 1987. He was elected Chairman of the House Republican Conference in 1987 and elected House Minority Whip in 1988. During his tenure in the House, Mr. Cheney earned a reputation as a man of knowledge, character, and accessibility.
Mr. Cheney also served a crucial role when America needed him most. As Secretary of Defense from March 1989 to January 1993, Mr. Cheney directed two of the largest military campaigns in recent history - Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. He was responsible for shaping the future of the U.S. military in an age of profound and rapid change as the Cold War ended. For his leadership in the Gulf War, Secretary Cheney was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush on July 3, 1991. He served as Vice President of the United States under President George W. Bush from 2001-2009.
Mr. Cheney married his high school sweetheart, Lynne Ann Vincent, in 1964, and they have grown daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, three granddaughters and three grandsons.