U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, is the first honoree of the new Patriot Award from the Greater Dallas Military Foundation Gala.

The award, presented last month during the gala at the Fairmont in Dallas, recognizes a civilian who has demonstrated consistent and outstanding support for a strong national defense and its essential role in ensuring the security of the United States of America.

A news release described the reasons for Johnson’s selection.

Throughout his 29-year career in the Air Force, Johnson embodied the highest standards of a combat airman, specifically during his nearly seven-year incarceration as a North Vietnamese Prisoner of War.

As a U.S. congressman, he has consistently supported responsible budgeting for military funding, advocated for House bills supporting the needs of active, retired and wounded military members and has also been a staunch supporter for the professional development of U.S. military leadership, both officer and enlisted.

The annual black-tie dinner and military gala brings together key leaders in the Dallas-Fort Worth region to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces. This year attendees, including military personnel and spouses, local dignitaries and industry executives enjoyed performances by the United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team and the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest.

Net proceeds from the 2016 Gala will be contributed to several service relief organizations, including Army Emergency Relief, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Air Force Aide Society and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, who take care of service members with problems they cannot resource on their own. For more information, visit greaterdallasmilitaryfoundation.org.