MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Six Marines and a sailor with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing were honored March 19, 2014, for acts of heroism and for playing critical roles while supporting the mission of the Wing.
Major General Robert F. Hedelund, commanding general of 2nd MAW, and his wife, Alicia, hosted a heroes dinner at their residence at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., to show their appreciation for the sacrifices the seven made during 2013.
“I feel honored to bring this group together,” said Hedelund. “Events like this are what the commandant calls giving back to the Marine Corps, and they represent what the Corps is all about – working together as a team and family.”
The honorees and senior leadership from 2nd MAW and Cherry Point recalled the contributions of the heroes during the dinner with a meal prepared by celebrity chef Rick Tarantino and a team of chefs from the Cherry Point Mess Hall.
Honoring sacrifice and selfless service is important for service members, said Hedelund. With food and drinks donated by local community businesses, the heroes saw the impact their hard work and dedication has in the community.
“These events are the best thing I do all year,” said Tarantino, who has cooked for four consecutive heroes dinners at Cherry Point. “It’s a chance to give back for those who serve us.”
Hedelund took time during the event to introduce each honoree and explain their exploits. Though nominated for a variety of reasons, each honoree exemplified the characteristics of self sacrifice and devotion to duty above and beyond what is normally expected.
Corporal Emily D. Torres, an administrative specialist with 2nd MAW’s manpower operations section, spends the majority of her weekends volunteering in the local community and was meritoriously promoted to corporal in March 2014.
Sergeant Robert D. McCord, an aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 at MCAS New River, recently deployed to Afghanistan and successfully responded to seven firefighting emergencies during the deployment. He also assisted the Army Dustoff, a casualty evacuation unit. McCord flew on eight medical evacuation missions with Dustoff. In addition, he also provided first aid to eight wounded personnel during a mass-casualty incident. For these actions he was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Sergeant Tiara D. Horsley, an aviation supply specialist with MWSS-272, was selected by the Onslow County-Jacksonville Military Affairs Committee as the Marine of the Month and earned the Volunteer Service Medal for her steadfast dedication to the community. Horsley also earned recognition as the 2nd MAW noncommissioned officer of the quarter for the fourth quarter of 2013 and was meritoriously promoted to her current rank in November 2013.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher A. Patrick, a corpsman with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 at MCAS New River, was the casualty evacuation lead petty officer during a deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. While deployed, Patrick supervised 12 corpsmen and planned and coordinated daily emergency medical training totaling over 160 instruction hours. He was responsible for CASEVAC duty assignments, maintaining 24-hour availability while forward deployed which greatly increased the medical capabilities of the 26th MEU. He planned and coordinated three medical readiness evolutions, periodic health assessments, health record verifications, post deployment HIV blood draws and immunizations which resulted in a sustained 93 percent medical readiness throughout the deployment.
Lance Corporal Korxinskee T. Frazier, an automotive maintenance technician with 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, was nominated for his outstanding volunteer service. He has volunteered on four separate occasions to construct homes for wounded warriors and amputees.
Corporal Ward M. Johnson, a helicopter crew chief with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 at MCAS New River, was assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit during March 2011, when he was awarded his first Air Medal for classified operations in support of NATO forces in Libya. In 2012, due largely to his widely recognized proficiency as a crew chief, he became the squadron’s youngest Weapons and Tactics Instructor. In 2013, Johnson deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he was awarded four additional Air Medals with Strike Flight after flying 283 combat missions totaling over 320 hours of combat flight time.
Sergeant Mitchell P. Moore, a motor vehicle operator with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 at MCAS New River, reported to MWSS-273 in July 2013 and immediately proved to be an invaluable asset to the squadron as platoon sergeant for the Motor Transport Company transportation platoon. While excelling in the demanding billet, he took on the additional roles of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program chief instructor for the squadron, squadron color sergeant and president of the squadron’s Motorcycle Mentorship Program. When the squadron was inspected as part of the Commanding General’s Readiness Inspection, Moore’s color guard program earned a noteworthy rating and accolades as one of the best color guards reviewed in the Wing. He was recently nominated for meritorious promotion to staff sergeant.