Armed Services YMCA held its Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala on Tuesday, Oct. 29, honoring five courageous military medics, corpsmen and pararescuemen.
The Armed Services YMCA signature event – now in its 13th year – recognizes five military members selected by their branch of service to receive the Angel of the Battlefield Award.
The 2019 Angels of the Battlefield are: (from left)
- U.S. Coast Guard HS1 Ryan F. Ransom, who cared for 2 crew members rescued from a vessel after they were significantly injured in an accident.
- U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan Pablo Medina, the lead paramedic in 2 mass casualty events in Afghanistan.
- U.S. Navy HM1 Alan P. Aaron, who provided exemplary care and support when the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided off the coast of Singapore.
- U.S. Navy HM1 Victor J. DeSantis, whose commendable medical abilities while deployed in support of Operation Pacific Eagle in the Philippines saved many lives, including 2 injured in a firefight.
- Army Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Waters, who was awarded Distinguished Service Cross for his actions as a platoon medic with 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
“It is the Armed Services YMCA’s great privilege to honor these Angels of the Battlefield. It is because of these heroes that many of our nation’s heroes injured on the battlefield have returned home to their families,” William French, Armed Services YMCA President/CEO, said. “These heroes help to strengthen our military family.”
About 350 entertainment, government, military and private sector leaders attended the gala to celebrate these heroes, including the evening’s keynote speaker, Adm. Charles W. Ray, Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
"What is the center of gravity of all of our military are these young people that we celebrate tonight," Ray said. "Few are more appreciated by commanders than those who provide medical care. They are ones that when you need them, time is of the essence. And they are the ones that bring support."
Adm. Ray joined other active and retired general officers, undersecretaries, members of the Senior Executive Service and senior enlisted leaders at the Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala at The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, Va.
Also honored: Bonnie Carroll, Founder and President of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS); and Dr. Mary Keller, retired and former President and CEO of Military Child Education Coalition were presented with the Armed Services YMCA Angel of Honor award. This award is given to an individual or organization demonstrating distinguished and extraordinary advancement of the Armed Services YMCA mission. Both of these incredible women in different ways have extended and propelled of our mission. "
Carroll spoke of supporting the military family. “Together we will stand strong. We will be there for those that need us.”
Keller spoke of community. “My gratitude goes to you. Because each day you make a difference to our wonderful life as Americans, together we will stand strong... We will be there for those that need us.”
Chef Robert Irvine, known for his long-running Food Network shows “Dinner: Impossible" and "Restaurant: Impossible,” took over the kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, Va., influencing the menu for the gala with his team of military culinary specialists. Irvine was the 2018 recipient of the Angel of Honor award for his many years of support to the military.Country music star and Army veteran Craig Morgan, opened the event with the National Anthem, and closed it with his song, “Soldier.”
Lucas Tomlinson, a Pentagon Correspondent for Fox News Channel, was the night’s emcee. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former surface warfare officer, he served on a human terrain team in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team 10th Mountain Division before joining Fox News.
The Angel of the Battlefield Award honors the individual men and women on the front lines who are saving lives and have demonstrated extraordinary courage. Each year, the Armed Services YMCA recognizes a single individual from each military branch for their accomplishments on the front lines. The Armed Services YMCA works with the military services to select a medic, corpsmen, and pararescuemen from each. The honorees receive awards on behalf of their fellow medical professionals for their dedication and commitment to the mission. Angels is the only event which recognizes the frontline actions of military medical personnel.
ABOUT THE ARMED SERVICES YMCA:
The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2018, we engaged more than 225,000 people in our programs and delivered nearly 1 million points of services to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family. Visit our website to see how you can join us in supporting military families.
Congrats to HS1 Ryan Ransom, the @USCG recipient of the @asymca Angel of the Battlefield Award! HS1’s quick thinking, decisive action, & leadership in the face of calamity saved the two men injured after an accident aboard a 751-foot chemical tanker 80 miles off the VA coast. pic.twitter.com/lAuPwyMsOa— Admiral Charles Ray (@VComdtUSCG) October 30, 2019