Meet Our 2013 Angels of the Battlefield

Meet the Armed Services YMCA’s  2013 Angels of the Battlefield, Accepting Awards on Behalf of Their Fellow Medics, Corpsmen and Pararescuemen.

Staff Sergeant Craig Wayman of the United States Army. Wayman was recently awarded MEDCOM’s Non Commissioned Officer of the Year.  He comes from three generations of both sides serving in the military. His step mother, sister and Wayman were all deployed together on his second tour at separate Forward Operating Bases, but were still able to get together at one point. While deployed in Kirkuk, Wayman recommended they provided care for 300 sick and wounded Iraqi nationals. Winning hearts and minds, the medics provided an environment that was pro-American and led to vast amounts of intelligence that led to the recovery of munitions and known terrorists.

Hospital Corpsman Second Class Thomas Turner, United States Navy.  Petty Officer Turner has deployed twice with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and comes from a line of proud military service by his father and grandfather. His greatest inspiration was caring for Marine Sgt. Paqueno while at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Sgt Paqueno had lost over half his brain during an attack at his checkpoint in Iraq. While he could not talk, Turner was in awe of the determination in his eyes to live and thrive, while his supportive family has never wavered or given up hope of his successful recovery.  They still remain close as Sgt. Paqueno continues on his path to recovery in Florida.

Hospital Corpsman First Class Kenneth Matthews, United States Navy. Petty Officer Matthews has served 12 years in the United States Navy. His mother is also active Navy, while his father is retired Army, and his brother served in the Air Force. His inspiration is his mother, who went from an E-1 Sailor to an O-6 Captain with the Medical Service Corps. Petty Officer Matthews was awarded two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and was the USS Enterprise’s 2012 Sailor of the Year. He also was awarded Flag Letters of Commendation for his life saving work delivering definitive surgical care to over 60 critically injured American and Haitian patients aboard the USS Carl Vinson, the first and only level 2 medical treatment facility in the early phases of the humanitarian mission.

Staff Sergeant Vincent Jones, United States Air Force. Staff Sergeant Jones is married and has a five month old baby boy name Mikael. He has deployed to Afghanistan where he provided life saving treatment to two Americans following an IED blast. The first patient was stabilized and rushed back to the Operating Room where they performed an amputation of the left leg. This wounded warrior is recovering and living at home with his family. The second victim was a treated for burns and injuries and has made a full recovery. Staff Sergeant Jones has been awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and is currently stationed at Joint Base Andrews.

Senior Master Sergeant Robert Disney, who is accepting on behalf of all Air Force Pararescuemen. Senior Master Sergeant Robert Disney of the HQ Air Combat Command is currently on Wounded Warrior Status and serves as Pararescue’s Lead Command Standardization and Evaluation Senior NCO.  Senior Master Sergeant Disney has been a Pararescueman for 16 years.  His deployments include Operation Southern Watch (3 times), Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom (3 times), Iraqi Freedom (2 times), JTF-Lebanon, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and two deployments as a member of Special Operation Command, Europe’s in-extremis forces.  He has performed over 400 combat rescues, direct action, and humanitarian rescue missions during his 16 years of service.   He has saved or recovered over 300 Department of Defense and civilian personnel.  Sergeant Disney’s major decorations include the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.  He is married to Mrs. Tess Disney.

Health Services Technician First ClassJasonBosko of the United States Coast Guard. Technician Bosko has served in the Coast Guard for 11 years and considers it an honor to prevent, protect, and provide.  He was recently awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for his significant contribution as the program coordinator for Navy Safe Harbor, the Navy/Coast Guard Wounded Warrior Program. He was also recognized for his service to Complex Case Management, where he assisted with catastrophic injury, terminal illness and other challenging opportunities within the Coast Guard’s Operational Medicine Department. Technician Bosko has three children with his wife April and lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

Master Sergeant Kym Ricketts of the United States Army National Guard. Master Sergeant Ricketts currently serves as the Chief Medical NCO, Army National Guard Bureau, where she is responsible for the management, medical sustainment training, and implementation of the Flight Paramedic initiative for the eleven-thousand five hundred Combat Medics. She has held various Leadership positions in her seventeen year career and is also a Combat Veteran. She is accepting tonight’s award on behalf of all of al Army National Guard Combat Medics that serve as Citizen Soldiers across the 54 States and Territories.

Staff Sergeant Jehon Bendokas of the United States Air National Guard. In his position as medic for a team of Americans and Lithuanians that were tasked with instructing Afghan National Police, he provided medical expertise in both a treatment role and an educational role. He taught Afghan National Police instructors how to educate their personnel in advanced first aid techniques and assisted with teaching the Police rank and file–a total of 7 classes, approximately 250 personnel. He also instructed the Afghan National Police on how to teach Afghan civilians best practices and the medical importance of basic hygiene and management of simple first aid to prevent illness. He assisted with providing this education for approximately 50 civilians. He has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and he lives in Fort Worth with his wife Jennifer.
 Master Sergeant Michael Franklin of the United States Army Reserve. Master Sergeant Franklin has served in the Army Reserve for 22 years and has deployed to Iraq.  Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, he is now stationed at Fort Belvoir. Master Sergeant Franklin is married and has three children. Franklin is proud to be a member of the military and considers it to be the best job in the world.

Technical Sergeant Tara Hickman of the United States Air Force Reserve. Technical  Sergeant Hickman has deployed to Turkey in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and served on humanitarian missions to Belize and Alabama, where team members provided $3 million dollars in health services free of charge to over 12,000 uninsured and underinsured Alabama residents.  She also rendered life saving aid off duty to a 79 year old woman who was suffering a stroke before paramedics arrived.

A special thank you to our Master of Ceremonies, ASYMCA Board Member Matt Stover and our Guest Speaker, Admiral Mark Ferguson, Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

We also would like to thank Major Sponsors SAIC and TriWest for their generous support of the event. Our Silver Level Sponsors are United Concordia and Express Scripts. Our Bronze Level sponsors are Raytheon, GEICO, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Pitney Bowes, Robinson Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Veterans United, DRS and Bechtel. Our Event Level Sponsors are Rip It Energy Fuel, the NAI Michael Companies, Greenburg Trauig and J Street Cup. Thank you for making military life easier.