WAIPAHU (KHNL) - For an Oahu resident, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
President Bush honored Linda Uehara for her contributions to the community.
She describes it as a surreal experience.
"He was witty and he had just this personable manner of dealing with each of us," she said.
Just days ago, the Mililani resident met with the commander in chief, who gave her a pin.
"It's a short, quick kind of thing, but he was able to make us feel very proud that we were there," said Uehara.
She was one of six people across the country, recognized for serving the community. For more than 40 years, this retired teacher has been a volunteer. So far, she's helped 10 different groups, including "Girl's Court", which addresses the needs of teens in the judicial system.
"They have so much to offer, they have so much gifts and talents and all they need is someone to believe in them like the way I was fortunate enough to have someone believe in me," she said.
She began volunteering when she was a teenager growing up in Waipahu. Uehara credits her parents for teaching her about giving back to the community.
"He's been volunteering here 35-40 years with the Waipahu Jackrabbits, that helped the youth of the community and my mother instilled this idea of family with all of us," she said.
Uehara said helping others is truly rewarding. She believes the President's Award represents the aloha spirit, which surrounds us everyday.