Salutes & Awards

September 19, 2013

Presenting The Medallions

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The medallions for the World War II Veterans Medallion Ceremony sit on a table at the front of the dining hall at Silver Springs Senior Living Community in Green Valley. The event was a joint effort between local Airmen, sailors, soldiers, Marines and Silver Springs employees.

Members of the Desert Lightning Team participated in a medallion ceremony honoring World War II veterans held Sept. 7 at Silver Springs Senior Living Community in Green Valley.

The ceremony was a joint endeavor between local branches of all four services and Silver Springs. Silver Springs is an independent and assisted senior living community located near the Santa Rita Mountains in Green Valley, Ariz.

The idea for the medallion ceremony was sparked through involvement with Honor Flight.

Honor Flight is an organization that sponsors trips for World War II veterans to visit Washington, DC and tour the war memorials, taking care of all travel expenses.

Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Steve Kennedy, Naval Operational Support Center Tucson command master chief, presents a medallion to Herbert Holly. Holly served as a messenger for the U.S. Army during the war.

According to Senior Master Sgt. Charles Ruscetta, 563rd Operations Support Squadron superintendent, the efforts of an Airman who regularly volunteers with the Tucson chapter of Honor Flight came to the attention of Chief Master Sgt. Dawna Cnota, 355th Fighter Wing command chief.

“Chief Cnota brought up a medallion ceremony committee she’d been a part of at a former base,” Ruscetta said. “Once we heard about it, we were all on board. Then the Top 3, the First Sergeant Committee and the Chief’s Group got involved, and the ball was rolling.”

The committee sent out formal letters to Veterans of Foreign Wars state representatives inquiring about World War II veterans.

“Another Honor Flight volunteer put us in touch with the executive director of Silver Spings, who offered us the use of his facilities for the event,” Ruscetta said.

The executive director also revealed that he had more than 30 World War II veterans in residence at his community. Of those, nineteen chose to participate in the ceremony.

Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander, speaks with Robert Hamilton after presenting him with a medallion during a World War II Veterans Medallion Ceremony held at Silver Springs Senior Living Community in Green Valley, Ariz., Sept. 7. Hamilton served as a company medic with the U.S. Army during the war.

Roughly 70 Airmen, sailors, soldiers and Marines volunteered to escort the veterans being honored during the ceremony.

“After we arrived at Silver Springs, we were to go to their rooms and help them get ready for the ceremony,” said Staff Sgt. Kellie Jones, medallion ceremony volunteer. “When my husband and I got to her room, she was basically ready so we sat and talked about her time overseas. She met her husband over there.”

The medallions were presented by Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander, U.S. Army Col. Shaun Tooke, 1st Battlefield Coordination Detachment commander and U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Steve Kennedy, Naval Operational Support Center Tucson command master chief.

“We’re also members of the military, but what they did was so different; they fought a different type of war and I’m thankful for them,” Jones said. “Because of them, I am able to sit in this chair talking to you today. That’s the bottom line of why I decided to volunteer; I just wanted to tell someone thank you.”

Ruscetta said the intent is to make the ceremony a recurring event. The next medallion ceremony is slated to be held in December in Tucson.

Staff Sgt. Kellie Jones and her husband, Staff Sgt. Michael Jones, medallion ceremony volunteers, talk with veterans during a World War II Veterans Medallion. Roughly 70 Airmen, sailors, soldiers and Marines volunteered as escorts for the veterans being honored during the ceremony.

“Personally I think it’s just the right thing to do for our veterans,” Ruscetta said. “World War II veterans went straight back to work when they came home. The whole country was at war, so they didn’t get the recognition that we do when we return from a deployment. We make a big deal about our returns home, which we should because we were at war. But what about them? They deserve some appreciation as well.”

If you would like to volunteer for the next medallion ceremony, or if you know a World War II veteran eligble to be honored, contact Ruscetta at charles.ruscetta@dm.af.mil.

Army Col. Shaun Tooke, 1st Battlefield Coordination Detachment commander, prepares to present a World War II medallion to Jack Proctor. Proctor served on the U.S.S. Tombigee with the U.S. Navy during the war.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
IronMan_pict

Special Operations develops ‘Iron Man’ Suit

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit is cool. But it’s not real. The Tactical Assault Light Operators Suit is cool, too. But it is real and may soon be protecting America’s special operations forces...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to...
 
 

Lessons learned in protecting social media accounts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — On a Saturday afternoon in late November, I was informed about a political remark that appeared on my Director of Public Affairs Twitter feed. A staff member called to ask if I was aware of the re-tweet. At the time, I was on leave, out of the state, tending to my daughter...
 

 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are...
 
 

Living in the New Normal

The Military Child Education Coalition, or MCEC, will be hosting Living in the New Normal Institute, Feb. 4-5. LINN-I is a free two-day institute outlining specific community resources, deployment information and practical strategies for encouraging resilience in all children. Some learning outcomes to expect from the training are differentiating affective aspects of children dealing with...
 
 
Training_pict4

Air Force, Army conduct joint service training

U.S. Air Force and Arizona Army National Guard units conducted joint training at a southern Arizona military training range Jan. 20. A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron, based out of D-M, and a UH-60A Black Ha...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin