The Tahoe-Douglas Elks Lodge No. 2670 named Gardnerville resident Sally Diamond Wiley its 2011 Citizen of the Year during an emotional award banquet on March 11.
A native Nevadan, Diamond Wiley and her husband, Mike, moved to the Carson Valley in 2001. Since that time, she has participated in a wide range of service-based organizations throughout the community: Carson Valley Sertoma club, both the Douglas County and Sierra Nevada Republican Women clubs, The Douglas County Republican Central Committee, Sierra Nevada Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Mothers of Nevada, and St. Gall Catholic Church.
She's also a volunteer for the Army National Guard, St. Gall Women's Society, St. Gall Catholic Church, and the Car-son Valley Community Food Closet. Her husband, Mike, is the acting food closet chairman and has been a volunteer there himself for eight years.
During her professional career, Diamond Wiley worked as a securities broker in the investment industry. She also raised three boys: twins Sean and Michael, and the youngest son, Jason. Michael now lives in Reading, Pa., and Jason resides in the Bay Area. Son Sean returned to the Army as a heavy equipment operator after retiring from the military in 1987. He volunteered to go to Iraq because he felt it was his responsibility and his job to help guide the young people serving there.
Diamond Wiley recalls him saying, "Mom, these kids need someone to show them what to do."
He was the recipient of several honors in Iraq, including the Bronze Star. On Feb. 15, 2009, during his third tour of duty, Sean Diamond was killed by a roadside bomb. He left behind a wife, Loramay, and their four
children, who live in Washington.
Diamond Wiley faithfully sent packages to Sean while he was in Iraq, and always tucked in a few extra goodies for his friends.
"After he was killed, there was nothing more I could do for him," Diamond Wiley said. "So I turned the focus outward. He is my inspiration."
She continues to send care packages, only now they are addressed to other troops.
Since August 2009, she and her husband have shipped 267 boxes to service members overseas.
In February 2010, former Gov. Jim Gibbons appointed Diamond Wiley a general public representative of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services Commission, where she also volunteers.
She is the acting chairwoman for "Caring for America" through the Sierra Nevada Republican Women, whose fundraising efforts benefit the Nevada Patriot Fund. The fund was established by former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2003 and provides financial support to families of Nevada's fallen military men and women.
In 2007, SNRW received an award of recognition from the National Federation of Republican Women because of their commitment to this cause. Diamond Wiley is also the VA/active military committee chair for the club and, among other duties, keeps the Minden VA office supplied with their coffee corner needs.