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    Military Appreciation Banquet shines spotlight on Alaska Soldiers

    Military Appreciation Banquet shines spotlight on Alaska Soldiers

    Photo By Derrick Crawford | U.S. Army Sgt. Colton Wilson, right, of 539th Composite Truck Company, 17th Combat...... read more read more



    Story by Derrick Crawford 

    11th Airborne Division

    Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis led a star-studded lineup of military and community leaders thanking Alaska service members at the 52nd Annual Military Appreciation Banquet, June 11, 2022, at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.
    With about 700 people in attendance, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce’s black-tie event recognized 13 Soldiers and Airmen, both active duty and Guard, and two civilians for their exceptional achievements and volunteer efforts in support of the military community.

    “Absolutely amazed,” is how U.S. Army Sgt. Taurus Rutherford Jr., of 1st General Support Aviation Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, described his impression of the turnout and outpouring of appreciation from the community. He was one of the hundreds of service members who attended as guests sponsored by community members and also braved a snaking line of service members to take a photo with Mattis, a retired Marine four-star general and the event’s guest speaker.
    “It’s a beautiful event. We got the Army, the Air Force, we got Mad Dog,” he said, referring to Mattis' nickname. “What more can you ask for?

    “The Fairbanks community is a wonderful community, and to have that, at this point in time, after COVID, is absolutely amazing,” Rutherford said. “It shows how much the people here are willing to put out to have a day to appreciate (military).”
    Among the honorees were 11th Airborne Division’s Sgt. Tyler Falci, a horizontal construction engineer assigned to Bravo Company, 70th Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Sgt. Colton Wilson, a motor transport operator assigned to the 539th Composite Truck Company, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Arctic Support Command (P).

    Falci, the 70th BEB Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter, was recognized for leading missions that enabled the mobility and maneuverability of brigade and battalion elements during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 22-02 field training exercise held March 9-22, 2022, at Donnelly Training Area, the first Regional Combat Training Center rotation held in Alaska. Wilson earned the spotlight for his life-saving actions on March 14, 2022, when he helped evacuate 14 Soldiers from a military vehicle engulfed in flames during a tactical troop movement.

    Other U.S. Army honorees included: Capt. Douglas Cichowicz, of 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade; Capt. Benjamin Krzeczowski, of 1-52nd AV; 1st Lt. Jose Montalvo and Sgt. 1st Class Blake Trahan, both of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard; Ruth Fuller, of Army Community Services, Fort Greely; and Carinell Feliciano Moya, of 49th Missile Defense Battalion Soldier and Family Readiness, AKARNG.

    All honorees were selected by their respective commands at Forts Greely and Wainwright, Eielson Air Force Base and Clear Force Space Station.



    Date Taken: 06.21.2022
    Date Posted: 06.22.2022 15:12
    Story ID: 423476
    Location: FAIRBANKS, AK, US 
    Hometown: ANCHORAGE, AK, US
    Hometown: EL PASO, TX, US
    Hometown: FORT GREELY, AK, US
    Hometown: KING OF PRUSSIA, PA, US
    Hometown: LEVITTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: LOXAHATCHEE, FL, US

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