FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — The City of Fairhope has selected U.S. Air Force veteran Edwin “Juju” Lessard Jr. as its Veteran of the Year for 2023, the city announced Tuesday.

Fairhope is honoring Lessard for his service in the Air Force as well as his work to help fellow veterans.

Lessard served in the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller from 1978-1989, and then he worked for the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency from 1999 to 2011.

He was honored in 2019 by the William F. Green Veteran’s Home for serving their residents. He also organized and participated in the adoption of about 50 forgotten veterans in Fairhope and area nursing homes.

Lessard’s active memberships:

  • American Legion, Eastern Shore Post 199
  • American Legion Riders, Eastern Shore Post 199 — has served multiple times as an elected officer
  • Patriot Guarded Riders (2012-present)
  • Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (2018-present)
  • Volunteer veteran for Covenant Care Hospice

Lessard’s awards:

  • Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
  • Air Force Commendation Medal
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
  • Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon
  • Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon
  • Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
  • Air Force Training Ribbon

Lessard will lead the Fairhope Veteran’s Day parade on Nov. 4 at 10 a.m., and he will be recognized at the Nov. 13 Fairhope City Council meeting at 6 p.m.