SHEROES United HONORS our Veterans!
SHEROES United 2nd Annual Salute to Female Veterans
This year – The YEAR OF THE VETERAN we spotlighted 10 Outstanding Women Veteran and Active Duty Personnel. An outstanding Tribute to these SHEROES. Missing was Michelle Ajeel who was on AT and Donna McAleer who could not make it due to the weather.
Thank YOU to all who were there to support our Troops!
We finally found the link to this video. Sorry it took so long but we really do LOVE our Veterans!!!
Newsfeed from KSL Channel 5
2012 SHERO Award Recipients
2nd Lieutenant, Ora Mae Hyatt, was nominated by her grandson, Robert Hyatt who is currently serving in Afghanistan! Right after high school, she enrolled in nurse’s training at the old Salt Lake General Hospital. It was during her first year there that Pearl Harbor was bombed. Ora suddenly knew exactly where she had to be. Ora Mae’s overseas training included learning to escape from a ship on a rope ladder about 3 stories high, and crawling on her stomach under a rope 12 inches off the ground. She finally embarked from Seattle just before D-Day, as the war focus shifted from Europe to the Pacific. Ora’s ship carried 5,500 service troops with the expectation that the battle for Okinawa would be over. They were simply to clean-up, care for and transport the wounded. As they embarked 57 days later, however, they discovered the battle was far from over. Rather than wait for the MASH hospital to be set up, some nurses were sent as a detachment to get closer to the action to care for the wounded; Ora Mae volunteered. Working 12-hour shifts, she performed surgeries, cleaned wounds, and administered penicillin, pain killers and the promise of hope. They frequently heard gunfire and explosions and were escorted by armed guards wherever they went. A steady stream of new patients, Prisoners of war from other islands in the Pacific were released and sent to Okinawa, where Ora and her team cared for them. In Ora Mae’s words,“That was a terrible sight to see these prisoners, who were almost like skeletons and so weak. Some of them couldn’t even lift their hands to hold a spoon, so we had to feed them like babies. The tears would roll down their cheeks as they were so appreciative of the care that we gave them. You don’t think about going home really, when you feel like you’re so needed and you can be so useful–that’s what’s rewarding.” Six weeks after the atom bomb was dropped, the medical unit was sent to mainland Japan with the army of occupation. During what was supposed to be 3 days of ship travel to Yokohama, Ora Mae survived a frightening typhoon, the ship arriving four days late. She left those emotions behind her as soon as she saw the released prisoners they were charged to care for—many of them from the Bataan Death March. Ora Mae was stationed in Tokyo for 6 weeks before the married nurses were sent home. It was heart-wrenching to leave, knowing more wounded needed care. Traveling by military transport, it took 4 days of travel, landing on several islands to change planes and refuel.
Picture in your heart, if you will, the sight Ora beheld as she approached the California coast. “It was night, and we could tell that we were coming into San Francisco. There… was the Golden Gate Bridge. And then we saw along the coast, spelled out in lights, the words,‘Welcome home! Well done!’ and that was such a thrill! I’ll never forget what it meant to see those words and to know that this was America we were landing on. I had never appreciated the luxuries we have in America like I did after we arrived, [to turn the tap and have a steady stream of water to have hot shower and to be able to have fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh cold milk and all the American plumbing;] it was just wonderful. I don’t think I’ll ever take it for granted again.” occupation.
During what was supposed to be 3 days of ship travel to Yokohama, Ora Mae survived a frightening typhoon, the ship arriving four days late. She left those emotions behind her as soon as she saw the released prisoners they were charged to care for—many of them from the Bataan Death March. Ora Mae was stationed in Tokyo for 6 weeks before the married nurses were sent home. It was heart-wrenching to leave, knowing more wounded needed care. Traveling by military transport, it took 4 days of travel, landing on several islands to change planes and refuel. Picture in your heart, if you will, the sight Ora beheld as she approached the California coast. “It was night, and we could tell that we were coming into San Francisco. There… was the Golden Gate Bridge. And then we saw along the coast, spelled out in lights, the words,‘Welcome home! Well done!’ and that was such a thrill!
I’ll never forget what it meant to see those words and to know that this was America we were landing on. I had never appreciated the luxuries we have in America like I did after we arrived, [to turn the tap and have a steady stream of water to have hot shower and to be able to have fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh cold milk and all the American plumbing;] it was justwonderful. I don’t think I’ll ever take it for granted again.”
Master Sergeant Candice James has been active duty Air Force for 19 years, a Utah Real Estate agent for 4 years, an active member of the international women’s sorority Beta Sigma Phi for 10 years and married to retired Senior Master Sergeant Ross James. She has an eleven-year-old daughter, Madison, and a nine-year-old son, Cameron. She recently returned from a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan where she was a convoy commander with over 8 thousand miles outside-the-wire and a combat advisor to 48 Afghans and 10 Coalition Forces. She mentored and advised the Afghan National Army daily on all aspects regarding the safe handling, security and transportation of Ammunition. Her group was the first team in Kabul to transition an area over from Coalition ran to Afghan control. This historic event helped ensure and encourage the Afghans to take pride in themselves and their country when the UN forces withdrawl. She also coordinated three Operation Outreach Afghanistan drops where we donated clothing, blankets, shoes, school supplies, toys, candy and hygiene products to over 500 children and 200 families. Master Sergeant Candice James was awarded a Bronze Star by the Army Commander for outstanding leadership and dedication to duty. Candice also serves as group point of contact for Operation Adopt a ghost, which is an organization that collects and ships packages to deployed troops.
Candice James you are a true American SHERO!
1st Lieutenant Donna McAleer – A 1987 West Point Graduate, President of her class, she served her country honorably as an Army officer in Germany at the end of the Cold War before going on to work in the private sector. After years of success in global logistical and consulting, Donna left the corporate world to pursue a life long dream of competing and earning a spot on the US Olympic Women’s Bobsled team. She went all the way to the 2002 Winter Olympic Trials, finishing 4th. Since the Olympics, Donna led the People’s Health Clinic, a non-profit organization which provides health and medical care to the uninsured and underinsured. Donna has helped found Journeys Win Our Communities, which supports a school and orphanage in Cambodia; engaged top West Point leadership as a member of the governing board of West Point Alumni; and become an award-winning author with the publication of Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line, a book about West Point women and leadership. Donna has spoken to many groups around the country about leadership. Donna was the Democratic Candidate for Utah’s 1st Congressional District in this most recent election. It is her belief her oath to serving her country that brings her to where she is today. Donna earned a MBA at Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Donna’s husband Ted is also a West Point classmate. They live in Park City, with their daughter Carlyn Ann.
Donna McAleer you are a true American SHERO!
Sergeant First Class Michelle Ajeel US ARMY Reserve is AWESOME! In addition to being an Army Reserve Soldier, Michelle works as an accounting specialist at Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. She is also a wife, and a mother of four. Michelle is very proud of her children. Her oldest daughter is a senior in college; her oldest son is a senior in high school and will join the Army when he graduates. She also has a special needs son in first grade and an aspiring beauty queen in pre-school.
Michelle is highly proficient and respected in her military career where she teaches Soldiers about supply and logistics. She has been faithfully serving for 28 years and has earned numerous awards to include the prestigious Joint Service Commendation Medal. The medal is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement. Michelle distinguished herself while working with the Iraqi Army and their logistics program in a hostile war zone. Even though she was working full time, serving as a member of the Army Reserve and caring for her family, Michelle managed to earn an Accounting degree in 2007. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Management and will graduate in April 2013. Michelle is presently serving in the prominent position of Area Leader for the training battalion she is assigned.
Sergeant First Class Ajeel epitomizes the finest qualities of an
Army Reserve Soldier and is a true American SHERO!
Staff Sergeant Hayley Breck Utah Army National Guard
Hayley was nominated by Last Years SHERO Jenny Butler for her dedication and selfless service to current and future leaders in the Army. Hayley has been a Warrior Leader Course Instructor for the past 4 years. During that time she has influenced and mentored well over 1000 Soldiers. Hayley sets a great exampleas a strong, confident woman serving her country honorably and is anoutstanding role model for other young women in the military and in her community.
In 2010 when SSG Breck deployed to Kuwait to serve on a Mobile Training Team to train Warrior Leader Course, she tasked her students with writing a short essay/story on what was most important to them. As she continued to do this assignment with her students, the focus of the story changed, but she found each story more and more interesting. She joked that she was going to take all the stories and make a coffee table book. Well, that planted the seed and the more she thought and talked about making a book, the more it became a reality. Most of the stories related to people’s experience in the military, but in general they are just about their life as a person, a wife, a husband, and as a Soldier. Hayley felt the civilian populace has a hard time grasping and understand who we are that chose to serve our country. This book is a way to communicate to the public exactly who each of us is and how the military has contributed to making us who we are. She is still in the process of publishing the book. As with many other things in her life, she has set a goal for herself and hasn’t stopped until she accomplishes it. She is a true inspiration.
Hayley spends a great deal of her time with her daughter, Tucker. I fasked, I’m sure Hayley would say that Tucker is her greatest accomplishment in life. Hayley’s dedication to her daughter and family is very obvious and Hayley makes it a point to provide her daughter with a great example to follow.
Hayley works tirelessly attraining leaders in today’s Army but doesn’t forget to have fun. Hayley stays very active being a soccer coach for a Jr. High girl’s soccer team, boating, running, and recently she just finished the Tough Mudder. You can also find her on the weekends crooning at a Karaoke establishment or dancing with her girlfriends in addition to just hanging withher daughter and teaching her to be a strong, beautiful, and dependent.
Hayley Breck is a true American SHERO!
Sergeant First Class Mary Katherine Christensen served in the Military for Twenty-Three years. For 8 and half years she was in the Coast Guard. She then served 3 years in the NAVY, and then she went back and did an additional Eleven and a Half years in the National Guard. That is amazing THREE different Branches!
Mary was actively involved in several areas of the Military during her career, being awarded numerous medals and awards in all three branches of the Military. These medals and awards include, but are notlimited to: The Congressional Medal of Honor, War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal among with many others too numerous to name.
Mary is very dependable and has always demonstrated a great deal of pride in all that she does in and out of the uniform. Her attention to detail is unsurpassed.
While in the Coast Guard, Mary represented her Unit in the Color Guard. She was ultimately asked to return to Mobile Alabama for 9 months for TEMAC, apparently impressing the National Strike Force with her efforts. Also while with the Coast Guard she worked as a Storekeeper 3rdclass and also was involved in oil spill cleaning and testing.
While in the Navy Mary was attached to the SEABEE Battalion, which is considered a construction and defense detail. She came home to UTAH to help take care of her mother who could not be alone.
Mary’s most memorable time in the military was the time she spent, one on one with the Soldiers returning from Iraq and their families, helping and teaching them to cope and overcome POST TRAMATIC STRESS DISORDER, PDHRA and she felt passionate about her suicide prevention role.
While in the Army National Guard she worked at Range Control as a wild land fire fighter, when not fighting fires her job included keeping Range Control as safe environment. After Range Control she moved up to Headquarters in Draper where she worked in G1 Medical before retirement, she screened returning soldiers from the war, she was very involved in Suicide Prevention.
While actively participating the Military with prideand honor for Twenty-Three years, Mary also raised two children into adult hoodand has been blessed with six beautiful grandchildren whom she has taught respect, love of self and Country, TRUST, Courtesy and Patience.
Since retiring, Mary has been able to enjoy camping, fishing, and site seeing, yard work, vacationing and anything else she feels like doing. Still demonstrating all the pride and respect of a Sgt 1stClass.
Mary Christensen you are a true American SHERO!
Staff Sergeant Jessica Hyde is a superior Citizen-Soldier. With 14 federal awards and five state awards, she’s steps ahead of her peers. Her awards include the Utah Cross for saving a child from drowning, just one example that her passion for serving doesn’t end with the duty day.
Staff Sergeant Jessica Hyde enlisted in the Utah National Guard in February of 2004 and attended Basic Training at FT Jackson, SC with Advanced Individual Training at FT Lee, VA to be a Water Treatment Specialist.
During her Military career, Staff Sergeant Jessica Hyde has served as a Section Leader, Squad Leader, Truck Commander and Truck Gunner. She was deployed to Iraq in 2005 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and demonstrated her versatility by becoming an excellent Truck Commander and Gunner in Combat Logistic Patrols. In 2009 she participated in Regional Response an exercise focusing on multinational peacekeeping operations as a Battle NCO in Baku, Azerbaijan. Throughout her career Staff Sergeant Hyde has dedicated many of her non-working weekends to assisting the Military Funeral Honors Team volunteering for over 40 Funerals. She is also an active member ofthe State Honor Guard selflessly devoting many hours of volunteer service to the local community and organizations. She is currently employed with The Homeland Response Force (HRF) which assists local and regional authorities inresponse to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-explosive(CBRNE) incidents.
Staff Sergeant Hyde’s military and civilian education includes Human Resource Course, Master Resiliency Trainer Course, Advanced Leader Course, Warrior Leader Course, Funeral Honors Course, the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Course and she has completed 110 credit hours with UtahValley University.
She has been assigned to the following units: 120th Quartermaster Detachment, 19th Special Forces Group, Joint Forces Headquarters, and is currently assigned as the Human Resources NCO with the 97th Troop Command. She has been awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the Utah Cross among otherawards and Decorations.
She was an official greeter at last years event and there are not nearly enough to words to describe the magnitude of this citizen-Soldier, her accomplishments and how important she is for those she works for, works with, and works behind the scenes for – with complete humility and without the goal of being acknowledged for her service.
Staff Sergeant Jessica Hyde is a perfect Example of a true American SHERO!
CPT Jaime Thomas – Utah Army National Guard. Her Military career began as an enlisted, 76J, Medical Supply Specialist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington DC, from 1998 to 2002. She then joined the Reserves and transferred to Utah where she was awarded a full 2 year “Guaranteed Reserve Forces Scholarship” from the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) to attend Westminster College. She graduated in May 2005 with a Bachelors in Business Finance. She was then selected from the Order of Merit List for an AGR position at Fort Benning GA with the 718th Engineer Company.
Upon arrival to her unit, she was quickly recognized as an exceptional junior officer. Receiving Distinguished Graduate from the Engineer Officer Basic Course and being one of only thirteen graduates, out of a class of thirty-eight, to complete Sapper Leader Course. CPT Thomas is the seventh female, tabbed Army-wide, as a Sapper School graduate.
She deployed to AR Ramadi Iraq from 2006 to 2007. While deployed as a 2LT, she received the Bronze Star Medal. Leading her platoon inbattle drills and developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for their new security team, she had the distinction of becoming the first convoy security team stood up by Task Force 321. With that she accepted the responsibility of securing many of the initial convoys. The result of her efforts produced over 75 successful security escort missions. She also led her platoon in over 20 horizontal engineer projects including upgrading force protection measures atOP Hawkeye and Sharkbase, and the Ramadi Railroad Bridge Bypass Project where she was responsible for portions of road construction as well as the development of the bridge approach and boat launch site pad.
Other awards include 4 Army Commendation Medals (ARCOM), the Utah Commendation Medal (UTCOM), 3 Army Achievement Medals (AAM), Good Conduct Medal (GCM), the Combat Action Badge, and the Utah EmergencyService Ribbon for Operation Windstorm.
For the past two years CPT Thomas has been asked to speak for female Veterans in both Orem and Springville City.
CPT Thomas has been selected as the Alpha Company Commander. Her excellent leadership skills were evident while leading the 489th BSB Combined Task Force in a state emergency, executing 1/3 of the total man-hours and moving nearly 50% of the mission loads while not being activated until a day later than the main Task Force.
As the 489th Battalion Training Officer, she successfully planned and executed 3 ODT missions in 2011 located in Germany and the Dominican Republic. These missions were providing clean potable water and fuel services for humanitarian operations and warehouse support for the European Theatre Command.
CPT Thomas spends most of her time outside of the Military with her husband Kelley and their two wonderful daughters Jordan (11)and Hailey (10). Together with her husband, they love to hike, run, snow-shoe, do yoga and travel.
CPT Jaime Thomas is a true American SHERO!
Sergeant Rachel Kirby – Arizona National Guard In serving 11 years in the military, Rachel Kirby has served two tours to Iraq. Her first tour she served as a light wheel vehicle mechanic.
In her second tour as convoy security, Rachel earned an Army Achievement metal with the “V” device in her efforts to save the life of her squadleader and remain calm and in control while under attack. Rachel volunteered to take his place leading convoys through thousands of miles of threatening terrain.
She earned the Bronze Star for being the platoons most trusted lead vehicle commander, finding numerous road side bombs, and remaining calm and confident through numerous attacks. She was awarded the Purple Heart for numerous concussions and brain injury as her vehicle was hit directly with two separate roadside bombs and being within close proximity of several othersthrough out her tour. She is married to the love of her life and has 3 children.
She is now a lead consultant for Paparazzi Accessories.
Sergeant Rachel Kirby is definitely a true American SHERO!
SGT DiAnna Davie – Utah Army National Guard.
SGT Davies’s Military career began as an enlisted, 43E1P, Parachute Rigger at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from 1989 to 1992. She was an Honor Graduate from her Basic Training classand graduated in the top 10 from her Airborne Training. She was then assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky to complete the remaining of her enlistment. SGT Davie was quickly recognized as a valuable resource for policies, procedures, professionalism and a desire to learn.
She deployed to Saudi Arabia from 1990 to 1992 to support Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. While deployed as a PFC (E-3), she setup a communication station and manned the radio that resulted in American troops, French troops and the Puerto Rican National Guard to communicate effectively and transport supplies to needed soldiers. She also assisted her unit in obtaining critical supplies by negotiating with the Turkish truck drivers to set up aconvoy and transport them to the port, which was a few days drive from their camp. Her “thinking outside the box” strategy enabled her team to rig bottled water, which was dropped by plane to soldiers with minimal damage to the cargo.
She then joined Company B 141st Military Intelligence Battalion (Linguist) of the Utah National Guard where she completed a second enlistment. She changed her role to 92Y, Unit Supply Specialist. She deployed to Korea twice and had the opportunity to meet, question and obtain information from the local people, which resulted in her unit not only meeting but also exceeding their mission requirements.
Since 2005, SGT Davie has been a member of the Utah Veteran’s Team Member Network within Wells Fargo by helping to support and educate all Wells Fargo Team Members concerning the value of the Military Veteran and promote greater Veteran awareness. She also increases support by networking with other Wells Fargo Team Member Networks and her local communities through outreach efforts.
SGT Davie spends most of her time outside of the Military with her boyfriend, Robert and her two amazing children Zachary and Danielle, her son’s girlfriend Tyra and her daughter’s best friend Lily aswell as Robert’s son Hunter. She also has four beautiful Grand-Divas Brooklynn (5), Emylie (1), Ayza (1) Leona(1) and one on the way Brietta (due in January 2013). Let’s not forget her muchloved yellow lab named Zoe and their newly acquired Chihuahua named Dudley. Together with her boyfriend and family, they love to camp, garden, BBQ and travel.
SGT Davie is a true American SHERO!
SHEROES United – Where it all began
SHEROES United 1st Annual Salute to Female Veterans
1st Annual SHERO Salute to Utah Women Veterans
Christine Gedney – Lt. Colonel RET attended Intelligence training at Lowery. She was Chief of Intelligence in support of the radar jamming squadron at Mt. Home AFB, ID. She had several brief assignments including a tour in Osan AB, Korea as Chief Electronic Combat Support then she returned to the Defense Intelligence Agency working the former Soviet Union electronic order of battle prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Chris moved into General Defense Intelligence and Planning, Programming, and Budgeting where she worked under Ms. Joan Dempsey. Chris then moved to Langley VA where she worked tactical intelligence. Her next stop was to Joint Forces Command, Norfolk as part of the initial Homeland Security team following 9/11 She worked with the FBI and other agencies. She was the Director of Staff for Air Force Command Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Then she moved to Chief, National Capital Operation Locations. She has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, The Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal among other awards and Decorations. She is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, Air War College, and Holds two masters degrees.
Bart A. Whatcott Commissioner Fillmore County nominated Staff Sergeant (SSG) Tina Semanoff to be recognized as one of the SHEROS for the state of Utah. Staff Sergeant Semanoff Joined the Utah Army National Guard on November 5, 2000. She is now a member of the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) and serves as the Unit Training NCO. During her almost 11 years of service to the Utah Army National Guard, She has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and has been awarded the Utah National Guard Achievement Medal six times!!! Staff Sergeant Semanoff served in Iraq from February 2004 to January 2005 where she was awarded the Combat Action Badge (CAB) and also the Army medal for the Global War on Terrorism and the Service and Expeditionary Medal. Semanoff was selected as the top Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) for the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. She attended the Army’s prestigious Air assault School that she finished in September 2011. She attended the Instructor Trainer Course and is a certified Warrior Leader Course instructor.
Beverly Davis-Hawley retired from the military June 30, 2001 Beverly went to work at the VAMC in September 2001 first as a clerk, then as a trainer for the clerks and then Supervisor for 56 clerks to include the Community Out Based Clinics (CBOC). She worked at the hospital until February 2003 when she applied and she was accepted as a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) at the VA Regional Office. She has collaborated on outreach events for women veterans and co-facilitates the Women Helping Women Support and Education Group – VA women veterans support group.
Some of the most difficult claims deal with Military sexual trauma, Beverly is sensitive to this issue and walks the women through this process….literally holding their hands at times only as fellow veteran and woman can. The women have told me time and again how much she’s helped them and changed their lives. It only takes one person to step outside of the typical “government worker” role to make a difference in a person’s life…….this is Beverly!”
Colonel Camerone L. Trent was commissioned June 7, 1986 at Georgia Southern ROTC. She spent 4 years on active duty at Ft. McClellan, AL then went to the Alabama National Guard as a TAC Officer. Highlights of Camerone’s career include the command’s she has had. The first was as a Captain, commander of the 217th Transportation Company (HETT) (San Antonio, TX) with 300+ personnel and 100 HUGE trucks. As a Lieutenant Colonel, Camerone command the 8-104th Quartermaster Battalion at Ft. Douglas, UT. She was mobilized twice (the first time stateside and the second to Iraq). While in Iraq she served on a joint staff with extremely intelligent professional women. Camerone holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and a Master’s of Art in Management and Leadership.
Colonel Camerone Trent is currently assigned as a Branch Chief in Ft. Sheridan, IL.
CPT Marie J. Roberts During her deployment to Iraq with the Battalion S1 for the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion. The S1 section supported approximately 250 personnel that were spread all over the Iraqi countryside. CPT Roberts and her team not only took care of the administrative needs of the Soldiers but they also knew them personally; there first names, whether they were married or had kids. It was this kind of personal commitment that made it possible for the section to recognize any foreseeable issues that may arise and find quick solutions to the problems before they became a concern to the Soldier. This small group of personnel ensured that the Soldiers could focus on their mission and not be distracted by other concerns like: pay problems, promotion packets, awards and leave. CPT Robert’s instilled in her section a sense of duty and camaraderie that made the deployment easier for everyone in her unit. CPT Marie Roberts is married to a fellow Army National Guard Soldier. This is a military family!!!
Captain Charity Coe is a Physician’s assistant with the Utah Army National Guard’s 144th Area Support Medical Company I have known Charity for the last 8 years and have served as her commander for 3 of those years. I have known many Soldiers’ throughout my 23-year career, but when I saw the Utah SHERO Veterans Salute nomination, Charity was the first person I thought of. Her impact as a veteran and a medical officer are unmatched. I hope that you will agree and honor her as a SHERO. Her unit was again called to Afghanistan, what is remarkable about Charity is that she had the option to stay behind because she had just returned from two long missions – but without hesitation she volunteered to complete the entire year with the unit. A level of dedication I have not seen before. During this deployment she practiced critical care medicine in the busiest hospital in Afghanistan. Over the course of her mission in Nicaragua and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Charity has saved the lives of numerous US Soldiers and civilians. She has taught and mentored hundreds of medics nurses and PA’s. She is an Amazing Soldier, Physician Assistant and Patriot.
SMN JG aka Mouse In 1998 Completed Basic Training at the Naval Weapons Station in Earl, NEW JERSEY. She was assigned to be a Chaplains assistant, she worked with the soldiers, and giving them spiritual and mental guidance for 15 months at which time she became ill and was Medically Discharged. JG holds a Bachelors degrees in Psychology, Sociology, and Criminology all from the U of UT where she graduated Cum Laude. Mouse has been volunteering for the VA Women’s Program. She assists with outreach events and rural women’s health in the community based outpatient clinics, posts women’s health education campaigns to make the VA more women friendly. She Assists the Women Helping Women Support and Education Group – a VA support group for women veterans. JG attended a National Peer Support Training which will allow her to intervene and assist even more with her fellow women veterans in need Especially in the area of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) she is now pursuing Law School She lives by the words Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
Penelope Cook and Her husband Bill joined an Army Reserve Unit in LA. Bill deployed to Desert Storm – Since she was an active duty Company Commander with two young boys and Bill had deployed, she was a very busy woman. Bill returned for a short time. When Penny was 6 months pregnant her husband got called back to Saudi Arabia for a 3-week follow-up for Desert Storm. As soon as he arrived he was extremely ill. They medevaced him to Germany. He did get sicker and she was now 8 months pregnant – he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. She was still an active duty company commander working 2 ½ hours away from home. Bill was discharged From Active Duty. Just before Bill had been diagnosed with cancer Col Cook had requested to get off active duty – irrevocable. She was discharged from Active Duty and now on reserve status. September 1992 found them with only their US Army Reserve jobs. She served the Army Reserve for 27 ½ years. Bill, retired from the Army in 2010 at the age of 62 with 42 years of service as a pilot from Viet Nam, Desert Storm and 3 tours for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Master Sergeant Jennifer L. Butler is an outstanding senior NCO. Dedicated to her profession, she constantly sets the example and always leads from the front. MSG Butler just recently returned from a year long deployment to Iraq where she held the position of First Sergeant, managing the affairs of Bravo Company 141st Battalion which is comprised of SIGNINT and Multifunction Team Soldiers. MSG Butler ensured that all soldiers were trained and prepared for the rigors of deployment in support of OIF/OND. Because of her dedication and commitment to the soldiers, the missions were successfully executed.NCOs matured, promotions were awarded, and all soldiers returned home safely. For her efforts MSG Butler was recognized with the Meritorious Service Medal. In her full time employment MSG Butler 640th RTI Warier Leader Course ensuring that instructors are properly trained and prepared to effectively teach and mentor up and coming enlisted and junior NCOs. Jennifer also participated in the Soldier of the year competition in where she won the state competition for Utah as well as the Region 7 competition. She lives the Army Values and is an excellent representative of the Utah Army National Guard.
Jill Attwood joined the Arizona Army National Guard right out of high school. SGT Atwood was named squad leader for Delta Force within in the first week. She attended AIT in Fort Rucker, Alabama where she studied Air Traffic Control. After returning home she was stationed at Papago Army Airfield in Phoenix, Arizona with the 416th ATC Platoon. Fast-forward five years to January 1991, and her unit was preparing for Deployment to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm. She jumped in the belly of a huge C-5 plane bound for a war zone. SHE received a battlefield promotion and spent six months in the desert operating tactical towers 40 miles south of the Kuwaiti border. After leaving the service in 1994 and pursuing a career in broadcast journalism She was also given the extraordinary opportunity to cover 9/11 ten days after the attack. SHE was a reporter for KSL at the time. SHE reported from near ground zero for five days. In 2008 SHE left the media and joined the VA in Salt Lake City as their Public Affairs Officer. She believes in the people, the mission, but more importantly the Veterans as we complete over decades of wars.