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When Reed H. Bradford became a religion professor at Brigham Young University in 1946, he wanted to put his Christian teachings into practice. So he began volunteering his services to the community.

Nearly 43 years and thousands of hours of volunteer work later, Bradford was among 54 people honored Wednesday for such work by Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan as part of Older Americans Month.But Bradford was still shunning the spotlight. "I want to stress that I am here representing all the other, older volunteers in Utah. I don't think I'm superior to them at all. I am just here representing them."

Bradford was chosen by the Utah Social Services Department to represent older volunteers - and receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to be honored - because of his long record of service. "It was a complete surprise to me. This (agency) just called me up and said I was chosen."

Sullivan told Bradford and others honored, "Your lifelong experiences make you a most unique resource. You have so much to share, and we as a nation are so lucky and blessed to have you. You are here today representing all of our country's older volunteers."