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President Bush honors Paul Carmony for volunteer service
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Posted: Nov 12, 2007 06:35 PM EST Updated: Nov 12, 2007 06:45 PM EST
By Shayla Reaves

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- A special award is on the way for a Louisville veteran dedicated to service. Seventy-one-year-old Paul Carmony was chosen to receive the President's Volunteer Service Award. The president will present the honor Tuesday in Louisville. WAVE 3's Shayla Reaves has the story.

Air Force veteran Paul Carmony puts in a lot of hours at St. Vincent de Paul. He says it's not giving back, it's just the thing to do.

"I'm just not one for the spotlight," said Carmony, hanging a donated shirt up on a wrack. "It just comes natural from my background."

Carmony is the son of an eastern Kentucky coal miner. He's spent eight years sorting clothes to help the poor, addicted and homeless in the Louisville Community.

"It was just the nature when you grew up in coal mining towns that everyone looked after one another," he said, rearing back in his chair. "You didn't have to go out and seek help; if someone needed help, it was just there."

It's an experience that taught him what volunteering is all about.

"Those people back in the coal mining town back where I grew up are just some of the greatest people on earth," Carmony said of his childhood." There's a lot of people out there that need a helping hand. I have the time so why shouldn't I give it to them?"

According St. Vincent de Paul records, Carmony logs about 1,600 hours a year. He says he's not counting the time he's spent, and just finds the service satisfying.

"If there's just some way that you can just help one person, to make a better life for themselves, then why not do it?" he said. "I'll be here until age catches up with me and I can't do what needs to be done, so whenever that happens to be."

Paul's not too big on awards, and says he only allowed his name to be submitted because he didn't think he'd be chosen. In addition to his work with St. Vincent de Paul, he also volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for children.

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