News: Four New York Army National Guard soldiers to attend Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball on Monday, Jan. 21
LATHAM, NY - Four members of the New York Army National Guard will be among 230 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen attending the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball on Monday, January 21, as Washington celebrates the second inaugural of President Barack Obama.
The Commander-in-Chief's Ball is one of two inaugural balls which the president sponsors. It is open to members of the military and their guests. President George W. Bush organized the first Commander-in-Chief's Ball in 2005 and President Obama has continued the tradition to honor Active Duty and Reserve service members.
Attending from the New York Army National Guard are:
•Captain Shawn Tabankin, a Rexford resident, who serves as Force Integration Officer for the New York Army National Guard;
•New York State Command Sgt. Major Frank Wicks, a West Sand Lake resident;
•Staff Sgt. Sihoon Chung, a Ridgefield, New Jersey resident who is the New York Army National Guard Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for 2012;
•And Staff Sgt. David Martinsen, a Troy resident who is the New York Army National Guard full-time Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for 2012.
All four service members are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tabankin and Wicks were both awarded the Bronze Star for their service and Tabankin has been awarded the Purple Heart.
The four Soldiers are each allowed to bring a guest to the event.
President and Mrs. Obama are expected to make an appearance at the ball and deployed troops in Afghanistan will be able to observe the festivities via video.