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Air Force officers nominated for ‘Most Inspiring Person'

Dec. 16, 2009 - 10:39AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 16, 2009 - 10:39AM  |  
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Air Force Maj. Tobin Griffeth and Capt. Katie Illingworth were among the 10 nominees for Beliefnet.com's Most Inspiring Person of 2009.

Griffeth and Illingworth, serving at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, started "Operation Red River Cares," a charity that provides clothes, school supplies and more to Afghans.

The project got its name from the rivalry between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners football teams; students from each campus are helping the Air Force officers by donating supplies to the cause.

"We started this because it's the right thing to do," said Griffeth, a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington.

"I'm a die-hard Sooner fan, and our rivalry with Texas generates a lot of energy," said Illingworth, an Oklahoma alumna. "We thought it would be great to direct that energy to helping people here."

Among other nominees are Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed his jetliner on the Hudson River after a bird strike took out its engine, and actor Michael J. Fox. Beliefnet.com, a multifaith inspiration Web site community on the Internet, will announce the winner this month.

For more details, visit http://www.beliefnet.com">www.beliefnet.com and search "Most Inspiring 2009."

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