Maddow, Duckworth, Rudolph Win Awards from Veterans and Military Families for Progress

Oct 18, 2011, 18:48 ET from Veterans and Military Families for Progress

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rachel Maddow will be recognized Saturday with a Public Service Award for Excellence in Media Coverage and Reporting by Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP). The award, presented for outstanding coverage of issues relating to veterans and military families, will be accepted by Maddow's senior producer Eelin Reily at a banquet at the Sheraton National Hotel.

Iraq veteran Tammy Duckworth, formerly Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and currently a candidate for Congress from the new Illinois 8th District, will accept the Max Cleland Lifetime Achievement Award, and Bob Rudolph, President of VMFP-Washington State, will be given the Torchbearer Member Service Award. 

Reservations for the banquet are still being accepted through the organization's website, The event is part of the organization's biennial conference that begins Friday.

Maddow is host of MSNBC's primetime hit, "The Rachel Maddow Show," which features her take on the biggest stories of the day, political and otherwise, including lively debate with guests from all sides of the issues, in-depth analysis and stories no other shows in cable news will cover. Among other awards, the show, which debuted in September 2008, was named one of the top shows of the decade by the Washington Post in 2009. 

"The Rachel Maddow Show" won the 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Award for her coverage from Afghanistan. Maddow was honored by the Interfaith Alliance with the 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom award, and her MSNBC documentary "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller" won a Gracie award in 2011. 

She first gained national prominence as a host on Air America Radio, where she worked from its inception in 2004. Prior to joining AAR, she worked for WRNX in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and WRSI in Northampton, MA. 

Maddow received a bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford University. She earned her doctorate in political science at Oxford University, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. She lives in New York City and Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.

Eelin Reily, Senior Producer of "The Rachel Maddow Show," began her career at 60 Minutes and has worked for MSNBC's prime time programming for as long as there has been an MSNBC, including as an Emmy Award-winning producer for "The News with Brian Williams."  More recently, she spent six years writing and producing Keith Olbermann's lead story every night. Her work covering the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq gained a new perspective with the death of her cousin, Marine Cpl. Seamus M. Davey, in Iraq, in October, 2005.

The Lifetime Achievement award, to be received by Duckworth, honors an individual who has worked throughout his or her life serving the active duty/military family/veteran community. The reward is named for former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, a recipient of the Silver and Bronze stars for valor in combat in the Vietnam War.

Duckworth, 27, is an Iraq War veteran, former Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and until recently, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She resigned her VA post in July to run for Congress. Duckworth served in Iraq as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot.

Duckworth joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in 1990. She became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1992, went to flight school and has been a member of the Illinois Army National Guard since 1996. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a bachelor degree in political science and of George Washington University with a master's degree in international affairs.

Rudolph is being honored for his service to the organization as president of the Washington State branch since 2007 and a member of the state Veterans Legislative Coalition. One project he said he is especially proud of is the Washington State Veterans Innovations Program (VIP). Previously funded by the legislature, the program was cut because of budget issues. The VLC successfully pushed the state to hold a Hometown Heroes Raffle through the state lottery commission. Proceeds of the raffle, expected to be between $300,000 and $500,000, will go to fund programs and services for veterans.

Rudolph, who retired from the U.S. Air Force, then worked for the Boeing Company, Military Programs, as liaison with the Air Force on the B1-B and B-2 Bomber programs.

MEDIA CONTACT: President Tom Howe, 563-588-2698

SOURCE Veterans and Military Families for Progress