WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, has won a prestigious military award for his support of the National Guard.

Ortiz is the 2007 recipient of the Charles Dick Medal of Merit from the National Guard Association, which goes to members of Congress for extraordinary work on legislative initiatives.

The award was established in 1988 and is designed to recognize the contributions to the National Guard by elected representatives to legislative bodies at the state and national levels. The selection criteria requires an individual to distinguish him or herself over an extended period of time in his or her support of the National Guard through service in a state or national elected legislative body.

The award was presented to Ortiz by Lt. Gen. Charles Rodriguez of the Texas National Guard Association on Veterans' Day at the annual Veterans Memorial Ceremony at Sherrill Park in Corpus Christi. The National Guard Association of Texas is comprised of current and former National Guard members in Texas.

"Today's award from the men and women of our National Guard is a unique honor for me," Ortiz said.

The medal is named in honor of Maj. Gen. Charles Dick, who was president of the National Guard Association of the United States from 1902 to 1909, a major general in the Ohio National Guard, a congressman and later a senator.

Dick was responsible for the passage of the Dick Acts of 1903 and 1908 that established the foundation of the modern National Guard.