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Annual Awards honor Guardsmen, fighter wing supporters

162nd Fighter Wing members fill Hangar 10 to honor this year's annual award and Hometown Hero Salute honorees, Oct. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

162nd Fighter Wing members fill Hangar 10 to honor this year's annual award and Hometown Hero Salute honorees, Oct. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Staff Sgt. Mike Whitt, right, recieves a Hometown Heroes Salute plaque from Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, Commander, Arizona Air National Guard, for his deployed service, Oct. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Staff Sgt. Mike Whitt, right, recieves a Hometown Heroes Salute plaque from Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, Commander, Arizona Air National Guard, for his deployed service, Oct. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Hometown Hero awards sit on hand to be presented to 162nd Fighter Wing members who deployed in support overseas contingencies between 2008 and 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Hometown Hero awards sit on hand to be presented to 162nd Fighter Wing members who deployed in support overseas contingencies between 2008 and 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

TUCSON, Ariz -- Servicemembers, families, friends, distinguished guests and visitors filled Maintenance Hangar 10 at Tucson International Airport for the 162nd Fighter Wing's 2011 Annual Awards and Hometown Heroes Salute ceremony here Oct. 1.

(Click here for photos from the Hometown Heroes Salute)

(Click here to view the Hometown Heroes Salute video on Facebook)

The ceremony honored wing members, teams and community supporters for outstanding contributions or personal development. Arizona Air National Guard officials also honored wing members and families who supported deployments from 2008 through 2010.

The celebrations began prior to the ceremony when spouses, significant others, children, and individuals who are considered "centers of influence" for the servicemembers were presented awards by state and wing leadership.

A rosewood pen and pencil set with the Hometown Heroes Salute logo engraved was presented to each Airman's spouse or significant other. Dog tags with the logo engraved were presented to each child. A special center of influence medallion was also presented to each family that supported a deployed wing member during their extended absence.

Each Guardsman who deployed was presented during the ceremony with a folded and framed American flag or a special letter of appreciation, encased in a rosewood frame, with a Hometown Heroes Salute coin mounted on the frame, personalized with the Airman's name. The letter was signed by the Chief, National Guard Bureau, and Command Chief of the Air National Guard.

Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, the Arizona Air National Guard commander, made the trip from state headquarters in Phoenix to preside over the ceremony.

"It's not very often that I get to speak to this many Airmen, and family and friends who support them," said General Colangelo. "I want to tell you that the best airplanes and all the equipment are absolutely worthless without the best, professional, technically qualified Airmen in the Air Force. I'm here to tell you that all of you here in this hangar today are those Airmen."

According to Col. Mick McGuire, the wing commander, the event was a fitting tribute the volunteerism of the wing's members and each one's personal support network at home.

"Annual awards recipients, they couldn't have done it without each of you and their associated family members. Hometown heroes salute honors all the Airmen in the Arizona National Guard who have deployed since 2008. To all of you thanks again for your service," said Colonel McGuire.


162ND FIGHTER WING TEAM PERFORMANCE AWARD
Aerospace Ground Equipment

OUTSTANDING PERSONNEL OF THE YEAR
Outstanding Officer and Arizona Adjutant General's Medal
Lt. Col. Mike Martinez

Outstanding Senior NCO
Senior Master Sgt. Alex Leyvas

Outstanding NCO
Staff Sgt. Tiffany Hoeck

Outstanding Airman
Senior Airman David Luu

OUTSTANDING SECTION OF THE YEAR
Operation Snowbird

BRIGADIER GENERAL RONALD L. KURTH COMMANDERS AWARD
Lt. Col. Mitch Rebman

MAJOR GENERAL DONALD E. MORRIS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Senior Master Sgt. David Crawford

COMMANDERS SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Operations Support Training
Retired Chief Master Sgt.Barry Soulvie
Diane Schiff
162FW Honor Guard

MAJ. GEN. DONALD L. OWENS JUNIOR OFFICER AWARD
1st Lt. James Barnett

AFA JUNIOR AIRMAN AWARD
Tech. Sgt. Erica Seehaver

AQUINO GROUND SAFETY MEMORIAL AWARD
Tech. Sgt. Mitzi Eggers-Aguirre

JOHN H. "SQUARE DEAL" MCNEILL AWARD
Lt . Col. Doug Hadley

162FW MINUTEMAN COMMITTEE GUARDSMAN OF THE YEAR
Staff Sgt. Luis Aguilar

MINUTEMAN EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
University Physicians Healthcare

F-16 INSTRUCTOR PILOT OF THE YEAR
Lt. Col. Eric Salomonson

OPERATIONS APPRECIATION AWARD
Crew Chiefs

TUCSON METROPOLITAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARD
Master Sgt. Joseph Andrukaitis

162ND FIGHTER WING COMMAND CHIEF AWARD
Staff Sgt. Jordan Jones

162ND FIGHTER WING MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Lt. Col. John Murphy
Senior Master Sgt. Kristin LaFrance

FAMILY READINESS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Southern Arizona Patriot Guard Riders

AIR FORCE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY STUDENT OFFICE OF THE YEAR
162FW IMSO Office

AZ DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
Staff Sgt. Trevor Jones

FIRST SERGEANT OF THE YEAR
Senior Master Sgt. Marc Polanco


HOMETOWN HEROES SALUTE HONOREES

Mission Support Group
Tech. Sgt. David Acedo
Staff Sgt. Mario Alvarez
Senior Airman Raymond Armenta
Tech. Sgt. David Arneson
Staff Sgt. Peter Arnold
Staff Sgt. Melissa Ballesteros
Staff Sgt. Virgil Bandy
Lt. Col. Garry Beauregard
Staff Sgt. Eduardo Benitez
Staff Sgt. Haley Bia
Master Sgt. Christopher Black
Lt. Col. Gregory Bliss
Staff Sgt. Philip Butkins
Staff Sgt. John Buttram
Senior Airman Sylvia Calmelat
Capt. ISenior Airmanel Camacho
Staff Sgt. Jesus Cardona
Tech. Sgt. Michael Carpenter
Tech. Sgt. Andres Carroll
Tech. Sgt. Richard Chamblain
Tech. Sgt. Murriel Champion
Staff Sgt. Margarita Chavez
Tech. Sgt. Bradley Clifford
Tech. Sgt. Alvin Conde
Tech. Sgt. David Crawford
Staff Sgt. Mark Cruce
Staff Sgt. Joseph Devos
Master Sgt. Lionel Dixon
Staff Sgt. Timothy Fleshman
Tech. Sgt. Santos Flores
Maj. James Fox
Staff Sgt. Ronald Garcia
Staff Sgt. David Garcia
Staff Sgt. Amir Gomez
Master Sgt. Emily Guchereau
1st Lt. Jason Gutierrez
Staff Sgt. Brad Guzman
Staff Sgt. Dawn Hanby
Master Sgt. Michael Hawkins
Staff Sgt. Luke Heberle
Staff Sgt. Charissa Hunt
Maj. Aaron James
Capt. Paul Jefferson
Tech. Sgt. Antonio Jurado
Lt. Col. Carol Kenny
Staff Sgt. Eric Klajda
Staff Sgt. Jacob Lee
Staff Sgt. Michael Long
Tech. Sgt. Michael Long
Tech. Sgt. Andreas Lorenz
Senior Airman Andrew Madison
Staff Sgt. Melissa Madison
Staff Sgt. Rodmar Manarang
Master Sgt. Ernesto Marquez
Master Sgt. Jonathan Martinez Staff Sgt. Jaime McCauley
Tech. Sgt. James Mcchristian
Tech. Sgt. Casandra Mcintyre
Staff Sgt. Boradel Medrano
Tech. Sgt. Virgil Mendivil
Senior Master Sgt. Mark Milbourn
Tech. Sgt. Livia Moreno
Staff Sgt. Roy Murray
Master Sgt. Vincent Muskiet
Staff Sgt. Jessie Ochs
Master Sgt. Alfredo Oroz
Staff Sgt. Albert Otero
Staff Sgt. Darrell Ozment
Staff Sgt. Patricia Pacheco
Staff Sgt. Randall Patterson
Staff Sgt. Abraham Pena
Master Sgt. Wade Quigley
Master Sgt. Daniel Ramirez
Master Sgt. Brian Reed
Tech. Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez
Master Sgt. Emiliano Rodriguez
Senior Airman Jose Roman
Tech. Sgt. Freddy Rosales
Tech. Sgt. Jon Rostomily
Tech. Sgt. Michael Royval
Staff Sgt. Adam Schoonover
Senior Airman Nicholas Schram
Tech. Sgt. Mitchell Schreiber
Staff Sgt. David Smith
Airman 1st Class Elliot Smith
Senior Airman Glen Sneddon
Tech. Sgt. Thaddeus Sorensen
Staff Sgt. Vanessa Soto
Airman 1st Class Kendrick Spears
Staff Sgt. Jacob Sulwer
Capt. Benjamin Swope
Senior Airman Heather Taylor
Capt. Tisha Thompson
Master Sgt. Jeffrey Thornsberry
Tech. Sgt. Raul Verdugo
Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Wallace
Senior Master Sgt. Michael Weisbrod
Senior Airman Dwight Wofford

Maintenance Group
Tech. Sgt. Victor Aquino
Tech. Sgt. Jaime Aviles
Senior Airman Linda Baldoni
Airman 1st Class Antonio Bautista
Staff Sgt. Giles Blumer
Tech. Sgt. Michael Brizuela
Staff Sgt. Donald Burnette
Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Burris
Maj. Andrew Chilcoat
Master Sgt. Jeffrey Debuhr
Staff Sgt. Erik Diaz
Tech. Sgt. Sean Ehlert
Tech. Sgt. Cody Eichinger
Tech. Sgt. Trevor Ferguson
Staff Sgt. Christopher Freker
Master Sgt. Michael Grijalva
Staff Sgt. Andrew Gutierrez
Staff Sgt. David Hadjibabai
Tech. Sgt. Steve Heimbach
Staff Sgt. Allan Henson
Staff Sgt. Richardo Maestas
Staff Sgt. Paul Martin
Tech. Sgt. Pablo Medina
Staff Sgt. Gilbert Mendoza
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Morphew
Staff Sgt. Jeffery Morton
Tech. Sgt. Reginaldo Munoz
Staff Sgt. Christopher Nelson
Staff Sgt. Sarah Peacock
Staff Sgt. Jeremy Raymond
Staff Sgt. Kristopher Roberts
Master Sgt. Benjamin Ruiz
Senior Airman Dennis Skraparis
Staff Sgt. Joseph Stier
Tech. Sgt. Timothy Story
Tech. Sgt. Carl Sundin
Tech. Sgt. Mike Tellez
Tech. Sgt. James Vanwinkle
Master Sgt. Duane Vermilyea
Staff Sgt. Robert Vinson
Staff Sgt. Michael Whitt

Headquarters
Tech. Sgt. Francisco Altamirano
Lt. Col. Janet Altschuler
Senior Airman David Cisneros
Chief Master Sgt. Jacinta Figueroa
Staff Sgt. Trevor Harvey
Staff Sgt. Tiffany Hoeck
Staff Sgt. Jordan Jones
Tech. Sgt. Andrea Madore
Master Sgt. Rose Mardula
Lt. Col. Michael Martinez
Staff Sgt. Stephen Myers
Retired Master Sgt. Bert Otero
Master Sgt. James Spencer
Staff Sgt. Alicia Walker
Staff Sgt. Keri Watson

Medical Group
Maj. Janet Campion
Capt. Clara Durazo
Lt. Col. Mark Emshwiller
Lt. Col. John Hall
Tech. Sgt. Sean Jack
Col Eirc Kendle
Master Sgt. Geraldine Kile
Master Sgt. David Kohler-Edwards
Capt. Gina Martin
Tech. Sgt. Paul Sadorf
Lt. Col. Donald Savage
Lt. Col. Jolyon Schilling
Senior Master Sgt. Jose Valverde
Staff Sgt. Sergio Victor
Staff Sgt. Alicia Walker

Operations Group
2nd Lt Eric Baker
Lt. Col. Robert Carpenter
Staff Sgt. Ryan Crocker
Tech. Sgt. Hector Echeverria
Senior Airman Vanessa Ferreira
Maj. Matthew Garrison
Maj. Christopher Gries
Lt. Col. David Halla
Lt. Col. Daniel Hodges
Lt. Col. Charles Huffman
Capt. Kirk Huhta
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Jackson
Lt. Col. Will Johnson
Capt. Lucas Jones
Maj. Thomas Kelly
Lt. Col. Mark Lindquist
Maj. Patrick McClelland
Capt. Amy O'Neill
Maj. Marc Overson
Senior Airman Tony Pena
Lt. Col. Kenneth Rosson
Senior Airman Sean Roth
Capt. Sean Soder
Lt. Col. Kenneth Souder
Lt. Col. Stephen Widen
Capt. Andrew Wittke
1st Lt Michael Yaeger