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    New York Naval Militia Member Awarded Medal for Valor

    New York Naval Militia member receives Medal for Valor

    Photo By Mark Getman | New York Naval Militia Sgt. Christopher Vega receives the New Yorik State Medal of...... read more read more

    CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE , NY, UNITED STATES

    03.14.2018

    Story by Mark Getman 

    New York National Guard

    CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- A New York Naval Militia member whose quick thinking, first aid skills and willingness to ignore danger saved a life during a Jan. 4 snowstorm in Peekskill received New York State’s top military honor at a March 14 ceremony here.

    Naval Militia Sgt. Christopher Vega, a former Marine and currently a New York City police officer, was recognized by his command with the New York State Medal for Valor for responding to a horrific traffic accident which nearly amputated the leg of a truck driver.

    Ignoring the power lines draped over the wrecked truck, Vega took charge of the scene, putting a tourniquet on the man’s leg and dealing with his shock until emergency services vehicles arrived.

    “One can only feel great pride in the presentation of the state’s highest military award to such an outstanding individual,” said Rear Admiral Ten Eyck “Trip” Powell, commander of the New York Naval Militia, who presented the award to Vega.

    “His selfless act saved the life of a fellow New Yorker and demonstrates the core principles of not only the New York Naval Militia, but of the organized militia of the state,” Powell added.

    Vega’s “utter disregard for his own safety, his extraordinary gallantry, courage and valor under blizzard conditions and the threat of electrocution, are in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service,” his citation reads.

    “I feel extremely honored to receive this award, which isn’t just for me, it’s an award that represents all the heroic work law enforcement and military servicemen and women do that people never see,” Vega said. “This is who we are and what we do.”

    Vega, 41, while serving on State Active Duty as a Naval Militia boat coxswain, was returning home around 10 a.m. on Jan. 4 in heavy winds and snow when he saw the trapped vehicle under a power pole on Main St. in Peekskill. The driver was trapped in the crushed cab.

    Vega grabbed a tourniquet from his car, strapped it on the driver whose leg was hanging by a few tendons, and talked with him while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

    Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen credited Vega with saving the man’s life.

    “This is the biggest event of my military career,” Vega said.

    Vega has been a member of the New York Naval Militia since 2016. He previously served in the Marine Corps from 2000 to 2003. Vega serves full-time with the New York City Police Department’s counter terrorism task force.

    Since May of 2017 he’s been on military leave from the police department. Vega serves as the boat coxswain for the New York Naval Militia patrol assigned to patrol the Hudson River at Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, N.Y.

    The mission is conducted as part of Joint Task Force Empire Shield, the New York National Guard’s state active duty security augmentation force which operates in New York City.

    The New York Naval Militia is a state force composed mostly of members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve, who agree to perform state training and state duty when called upon.

    A small percentage of the 2,800 members are those like Vega, who are not members of one of the federal Reserve components.

    The Medal for Valor is awarded to any member of the New York State Organized Militia who displays a conspicuous act of valor, heroism, courage or gallantry either in a military or civilian capacity.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.14.2018
    Date Posted: 03.15.2018 14:43
    Story ID: 269531
    Location: CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE , NY, US

    Web Views: 310
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