By unitedweroll on Feb 21, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Blog Note: We offer our sincere gratitude to these and to all of our military members who respond with amazing courage when faced with such dangerous situations.
By Stephen Losey
As Staff Sgt. Nicole Richardson headed out on a Sept. 5, 2012, resupply mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan, she knew it would likely be rough.
She and other troops had encountered insurgent-planted improvised explosive devices several times before, and the location they were trying to reach had only one road in and out ¡ª a perfect spot for an ambush.
¡°We knew that they just did not like us down there,¡± Richardson said at a Feb. 5 luncheon at Arlington National Cemetery.
Before the day was out, Richardson¡¯s team was struck by a wave of IEDs, one after another. Her team leader and eight other troops were seriously injured by a rocket-propelled grenade, and she stepped up and took command of her team. She directed her team as they helped fight off the insurgents during a roughly two-hour firefight. And she ran across open terrain under enemy fire ¡ª twice ¡ª to get ammunition when her team¡¯s M-240B machine gun ran low.
Richardson¡¯s actions that day earned her an Army Commendation Medal with Valor and a Marine Combat Action Ribbon. And on Feb. 5, she was one of 22 airmen honored in the Air Force¡¯s eighth volume of Portraits in Courage, a publication that recognizes airmen who have performed remarkable feats of bravery.
¡°Every airman has a story,¡± Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said at the luncheon to honor Richardson and four other airmen profiled in the newest Portraits of Courage. ¡°Some of them will make you just jump up and cheer. Some of them will make you cry. It¡¯s inspiring to know that we are amongst people that will do that.¡±
Also appearing at the luncheon were:
¡öMaster Sgt. Delorean Sheridan of Pope Air Field in North Carolina, a combat controller who received a Silver Star for engaging 15 to 20 insurgents and saving 23 lives following a ¡°green-on-blue¡± attack in Wardak province, Afghanistan, in March 2013. His actions were reported in the Feb. 3 issue of Air Force Times.
¡öMaj. Shaine Thrower of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., who helped save 54 lives ¡ª including his daughter¡¯s ¡ª when he realized their schoolbus was on fire and evacuated it quickly.
¡ö2nd Lt. Quianna Samuels of Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. While still ROTC cadet 1st lieutenants, Samuels and two other nurses ¡ª now-2nd Lts. Alison Nordlander and Ashlyn McNeely ¡ª were traveling through West Texas on April 17, 2013, when a fertilizer plant went up in a massive explosion. Samuels, Nordlander and McNeely immediately responded and triaged dozens of survivors in the midst of multiple fires, massive smoke and the threat of additional explosions.
¡öSpecial Agent Robert Powers, director of war fighter readiness and execution at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Quantico, Va., who saved an elderly man who had accidentally set himself on fire in a grocery store restroom on Feb. 12, 2013.
Richardson is an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron at Lackland, who went by her maiden name of Nellist at the time of the ambush. She and her EOD team were supporting the Marine Corps¡¯ 1st Combat Engineer Battalion in clearing IEDs and keeping supply routes open.
At the luncheon, she recalled the day¡¯s events:
As her convoy drove single-file down a hill into a valley to reach the Marine special operation forces that needed resupplying, two IEDs went off in rapid succession, severely damaging the two lead armored vehicles but leaving the occupants unharmed. The convoy needed to quickly press on to reach the Marine special operators, so they radioed for vehicles to come from the rear and tow the damaged vehicles away.
As one truck made its way down the hill, it hit a massive, 250-pound IED. The bomb flipped the truck backward and onto its side, ripped off its tires and turret, and caused other severe damage. The troops radioed the crippled truck, but got no response and knew they had to help the wounded troops as soon as possible.
A bulldozer, which had been trying to clear a path in the front, pulled around to try to clear the way behind them when it was hit by a fourth IED.
¡°So now we¡¯re thinking, we¡¯re in the middle of this valley, in an area that we thought was cleared enough by our previous people, we¡¯ve just hit four IEDs ¡ª how many more are out there?¡± Richardson said.
Richardson and other troops ran toward the truck hit by the third, largest IED and saw the gunner was laying face down.
¡°You could tell he wasn¡¯t moving,¡± Richardson said. ¡°We knew that he had passed on. As sad as it is, as much attention as you want to pay to the first person that you see that¡¯s laying on the ground, you have to take into consideration that there¡¯s other people out there that might still be alive. And so, we all run to the vehicle and hear screaming, and so we know at least that they¡¯re still alive in there.¡±
One of her teammates ¡ª who she described as a ¡°big, tall, muscular guy, looks like Captain America¡± ¡ª climbed on top of the vehicle, ripped open its heavy armored door and dropped inside. He pushed the two badly injured Marines still inside out to Richardson and a Marine gunnery sergeant, who began conducting first aid and talking to the injured while awaiting the medevac helicopter.
After the two injured Marines and the gunner¡¯s remains were flown out, the convoy towed the damaged vehicles to the top of a hill, where a vehicle hit yet another IED. Nobody was injured in that strike, but the convoy¡¯s leaders decided that, with multiple casualties and five vehicles out of commission, it was time to call the mission off.
As the remaining vehicles were refueling and preparing to leave, an RPG struck, injuring Richardson¡¯s team leader, eight other troops and a K9 dog. As the team leader was about to be evacuated ¡ª leaving Richardson in charge ¡ª insurgents opened fire.
Richardson used her vehicle¡¯s optics to identify the insurgents¡¯ positions so her gunner could open fire on them, the Air Force said in the Portraits of Courage summary. Richardson and her gunner lost their line of sight on the enemy, so she decided it was time to leave their heavily armored vehicle to get a better firing position.
¡°I had to redirect my other teammate at least twice to take our machine gun out of the vehicle and move it into a better position,¡± Richardson said. ¡°Vehicles move around, and everything¡¯s obviously crazy, we¡¯re getting shot at, people are trying to communicate, make sure that everyone is where they need to be to suppress the fire and defeat the bad guys.¡±
The Air Force said Richardson laid down suppressive fire with her M-4 so her team could set up the machine gun in a better spot. She said she used binoculars to help guide her gunner¡¯s shots. And she twice ran across the field to get more ammunition for her gunner and other troops.
When the battle was over, the Air Force said, Richardson continued helping evacuate casualties to make sure they got back to base safely.
Richardson said that after she returned from Afghanistan, she ran into the two wounded Marines she helped save at the Marine Corps Ball in San Diego. She also stays in touch with the other Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman who was a medic that day.
¡°They will always be my family, and I am honored to call them my brothers,¡± she said.
Original article and photos:
By unitedweroll on Feb 21, 2014 | In Military News and Support
It would be very interesting to know how many lives have been saved by military members who happen to be nearby. We have seen many reports with incidents from traffic accidents, to boating accidents and more. We thank all of our military members who do not hesitate to reach out and help others again and again.
Airman-Soldiers receive medals for lifesaving response
by Senior Master Sgt. Burke Baker
386th Air Expeditionary Squadron Public Affairs
2/6/2014 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Three Soldiers and one Airman assigned to the 387th Air Expeditionary Squadron received the Army Achievement Medal on Jan. 28 during a ceremony honoring them for exceptional achievement as first responders to a vehicle accident.
Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Derrick, Army Corporals Jessie Zawatski and Michael Fritz, and Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Knopf were driving off-base on Jan. 22 enroute to another military installation when they spotted an overturned pickup truck carrying four U.S. Army personnel.
Knopf, a health services management technician deployed from the 628th Medical Support Squadron, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., and his team of responders immediately assessed the situation.
"All of the windows in the vehicle had been shattered and the vehicle was clearly no longer operable," he said. "Once I got up to the vehicle, I did a quick assessment of the casualties and came to the conclusion that the victim in the rear driver's side seat was the most critical. I decided I was going to focus my attention on her."
The injured Soldier was unconscious and bleeding as Knopf performed an initial triage. She became mildly conscious during his assessment and complained of leg, arm, neck and stomach pain.
Knopf and his team performed first-aid to the victims and secured the scene.
"I didn't want to move [the private] because I was unsure of the extent of her injuries," he said. "I tried to make her as comfortable as possible, so I gave her my top to use as a blanket and found a military bag in their truck, I used that as a pillow to support her neck. I monitored her pulse and made sure she wasn't choking on her spit up."
A local ambulance arrived a short time later. Knopf and his team assisted the paramedics with additional first aid until a medical evacuation helicopter arrived.
"We then took her to the ambulance and provided first aid by giving her oxygen and cleaning her face of debris," he said. "I removed the boot from her left foot and stabilized her foot with wraps. I waited in the ambulance with her until the medevac arrived".
The four Soldiers, members of the U.S. Army's 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, were treated for their injuries and later released at a nearby U.S. military hospital.
The decoration citation states the 387th AES members' quick thinking and selfless contributions were instrumental in preventing further injury to the four Soldiers.
The 387th Air Expeditionary Squadron was activated in October and acts as U.S. Central Command's primary unit for U.S. Customs inspections for all Department of Defense personnel and equipment destined for the U.S. Since there is not a specific military occupational specialty for customs inspection, the unit's members are from both the U.S. Army and Air Force, and include a wide variety of specialties.
Chief Master Sgt. George Role, Chief Enlisted Manager for the joint squadron, credits pre-deployment training as being an important factor in the incident outcome.
"When we prepare to deploy as service members; we are required to be up to date on the Self Aid and Buddy Care computer-based and hands-on training, " said Role. "Although one hopes never to have to use the things learned; it is good to see that, when called to action, our squadron members were able to recall the training and put it to practical use. This is why we complete this training. These 387 AES Airman and Soldiers have made me very proud to be a member of this diverse squadron."
Original Article and Photos - Ref: http://www.386aew.afcent.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123379275
By unitedweroll on Feb 20, 2014 | In Military News and Support
We send a salute and sincere "Thank You" to TSgt Buss for not hesitating to help someone in need!
Face of Defense: NCO Saves Lives With First-responder Skills
By Air Force Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike
47th Flying Training Wing
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas, Feb. 20, 2014 – A noncommissioned officer assigned here used his first-responder skills while on leave Jan. 29 to aid in rescuing two people after their truck crashed in Bracketville, Texas.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Shane Buss, the 47th Flying Training Wing’s acting director for equal opportunity, said he simply did what most people would have done in the same situation -- he helped.
"I had just picked my kids up from school and was heading home when I saw the truck beside the creek,” Buss said. “I immediately pulled over, told my kids to stay put and got to the scene of the wreckage."
Buss, who had been a first responder before joining the Air Force, assessed the situation quickly and began to take action.
"The truck was smashed up pretty good, especially on the passenger side," he said. "I had to leg press the driver-side door open far enough for us to pull the driver out so we could focus on the passenger. The driver was definitely doing better than the passenger, but still really bad."
In a matter of minutes after arriving, Buss had helped the driver out of the truck, ensured he was put in a safe and comfortable position so he would not hurt himself further, then Buss climbed through the truck’s back window to help the passenger.
"The passenger was on the side with the most damage and had a few broken bones, along with other injuries," he said. "He was also pinned, so the fire department would have to use the Jaws of Life to get him out. I held his head … to make sure he wouldn't hurt himself, and talked to him to calm him down and take his mind off of the accident."
Buss said he started by testing the passenger's short-term memory by asking him if he knew where they were. "After a few failed questions relating to short-term memory, I focused on his long term," he added. "I got his name and where he was from, which was good."
Paramedics soon arrived and continued to assess the passenger's condition. Shortly after, the fire department arrived and was ready to use a hydraulic device to free the passenger from the wreckage.
"For the fire department to use the Jaws of Life, the windows needed to be busted out," Buss said. "One of the firemen gave me a blanket to put over the passenger to keep glass shards from hitting him. I put it over him and turned my face away from the window to protect myself from the glass. I wasn't worried about myself, because it was all about the passenger at this point."
The 47th Flying Training Wing’s director of staff praised Buss for his quick thinking.
"Buss' actions are indicative of his training, competency, and most importantly, his character," Air Force Col. Joshua Lechowick said. "We are extremely proud of what he's done and are thankful that he was there when someone was in need."
Laughlin Air Force Base
By unitedweroll on Feb 20, 2014 | In Military News and Support
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2014
Contact: HHS Press Office
Winners designed innovative ways to aid people with durable medical equipment in emergencies
Three innovative solutions are winners of an idea challenge to help communities support patients who depend on durable medical equipment (DME), such as oxygen concentrators and portable ventilators, during emergencies. The contest was sponsored by HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
Thousands of people in the United States rely on electrically powered DME equipment to meet their medical needs at home. In emergencies such as prolonged power outages, they often must seek help in shelters or emergency rooms to power the equipment or recharge their battery.
Launched September 2013, the challenge sought inventive ideas on how to create a system that, in emergencies, could signal the location and status of the life-sustaining equipment. With this information, patients and caregivers can prepare and respond to prevent low batteries in emergencies.
Leo Angelo Gumpas and Xadean Ahmasi from Laurel, Md., partnered as a team in the idea challenge to grab first place with the creation of an integrated, internet-based system which automatically monitors and transmits essential data from DME devices to caregivers and responders to provide actionable information in support of emergency planning and response operations.
Stan Barrack from Forest Park, Ill., came in second with the idea to create an integrated set of tools that could use inexpensive technology, such as a cellular phone application, to securely share critical information on the status of DMEs in impacted areas with existing data centers where specific patient information is stored.
Third place was awarded to An-Hu-Li and his son David-Li from Commack, N.Y., who developed an idea for a cost-effective wireless DME status reporter based on two-way radio technology. The device would send and receive vital information between a patient DME unit and authorized users, such as caregivers and first responders, operating on the same radio frequency. The technology would include security features to prevent interception of confidential patient data.
“We hope these innovative solutions can serve as a foundation for further research and development of tools to help DME users during emergencies,” said HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response Dr. Nicole Lurie.
First place winners of the challenge receive $5,000; second place receive $3,000, and third place receive $2,000.
To learn more about application challenges sponsored by federal agencies, including challenges that support emergency preparedness, visit challenge.gov.
HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security.
Visit www.phe.gov to learn more about ASPR and public health and medical emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.
By unitedweroll on Feb 17, 2014 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio Network Inc www.stardustradio.com
Tuesday 02/18/14 1:00pm - 3:30pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 02/19/14 6:00pm - 8:30pm Central (Repeat)
Welcome Stardust Listeners -
We thank you for joining us on Tuesday, Feb 18th of 2014.
This week we are honored to bring you four new visits with deployed members from three different units who are serving in countries thousands of miles from home and loved ones.
The first two of our visits come from Southwest Asia and the 386th AEW. Both of our guests are in Force Protection under the 387th Air Expeditionary Group. SrA Brandon J Newman, a definite Colts fan, explains the ins and outs of Force Protection and A1C Jessica Bicy not only serves in Force Protection, but she also volunteers with the Rising IV (Airmen Council) and as a member of the Honor Guard.
Our third guest is currently serving in a unit that is a part of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, located in Qatar. As a member of the 379 EOSS (Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron), Capt. Joseph R. Clark is the manager of the Air Traffic Control System and safety of the airport operations. (In civilian terms, Airport Manager). Working hand in hand with Qatari ATC and more has given Capt Clark the opportunity to develop some very meaningful relationships as you will hear.
Our fourth and final guest for this week is spending a very cold winter in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan with the 376th AEW at the Transit Center at Manas. As a licensed attorney, Major Tiaundra Moncrief provides a wide variety of legal assistance to service members, advice to commanders and other legal issues that may arise during day to day operations. Maj Moncrief also shares some very meaningful thoughts about military life as you will hear in this most inspirational visit.
We believe you will find our visits today not only to be informational, but will also increase pride and respect for those who serve. We hope that you will join us again next Tuesday, February 25th, for more new visits with members from our units.
United We Roll World Tour at Stardust Radio Network, Inc
www.stardustradio.com - click Listen Live button
Tuesday 2/18/14 1:00pm
Wednesday 2/19/14 6:00pm (repeat)
1:00pm - Introduction / Announcements
386 AEW / The Rock
Interview #1 (appr 1:10pm/6:10pm) - SrA Brandon J Newman
387 AEG Force Support
Interview #2 (appr 1:39pm/6:39pm) - A1C Jessica Bicy
387 AEG Force Support
379 AEW / Grand Slam Wing
Interview #3 (appr 2:04pm/7:04pm) - Capt Joseph R Clark
Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
376 AEW / Liberandos
Interview #4 (appr 2:41pm/7:41pm) - Maj Tiaundra Moncrief
376th AEW JAG / Transit Center at Manas
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
Live show on Tuesday ends at appr 3:30pm Central
Repeat show on Wednesday ends at appr 8:30pm Central
If you are not able to stay through the show on Tuesday, it will repeat on Wednesday,
February 19th at 6:00pm Central. After the repeat show has been broadcast, an MP3 copy
will be posted on the Stardust Radio Network Inc Archive site at www.stardustradio.info.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MAY GOD BLESS THE USA!
Qatar and Southwest Asia are 9 hours ahead of US Central.
The Republic of Kyrgyzstan is 12 hours ahead of US Central.
NEWS FROM OUR UNITS
Marauder wins AF-level Medical Service Annual Award
by Senior Airman Desiree W. Moye
386th Air Expeditionary Wing
2/16/2014 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Senior Airman Tiffany Dickerson, assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron force protection flight, was recently awarded the 2013 U.S. Air Force Physical Medicine Apprentice Award by the Surgeon General's Medical Force Development Directorate.
This honor is designated to distinguish outstanding five-level Airmen in the Physical Therapy Technician career field.
Tiffany is not only exceptional at her job, according to her nominator and commander, Col. Paul Gardetto, 23rd Medical Group, but she's a leader who understands the whole Airmen concept.
Dickerson, who is deployed from the 23rd Medical Operations Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. and a native of Statesboro, Ga., is very excited about the award and what she believes it says about her ability.
"I felt endorsed as a vital team member and an unparalleled airman AF wide," she said, after the knowledge of her winning among her peers. "It's truly wonderful being able to say, I'm an USAF award winner."
Reaching for further excellence as a PT technician is what Dickerson strives to do once returning to homestation by testing for staff sergeant and preparing for her PT assistant national certification.
Aside from the actual award, Dickerson received a personal letter and certificate of recognition from the USAF Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas Travis, and she is now authorized to wear the AF Recognition Ribbon as an AF-level award winner.
Ref: http://www.386aew.afcent.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123400326 Photo and original article
Volunteering during off duty time can often help to fill the
loneliness felt for family and pets at home while deployed ....
(See Photo on Facebook)
Deployed Airmen lend a paw to
those in need at local animal shelter
by Maj. Nicole David
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
2/14/2014 - DOHA, Qatar -- Deployed Airmen miss home when they are away for extended periods of time, and that includes four-legged family members - their pets.
On February 9, 2014, six Airmen deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, volunteered their time to help a local animal shelter walk dogs, ensuring those canines had the chance to be outside their kennels for just a little while.
Through the private organization on base, Jar Saleh, meaning "Good Neighbor," Airmen volunteered at the Qatar Animal Welfare Society, a local rescue and no-kill shelter that has been in existence since 2003. The six volunteers walked seven dogs each over a three hour time period.
It doesn't sound like much, but according to co-founder and shelter coordinator, Kelly Allen, it was an enormous help to know that the U.S. Air Force provided care for 35% of the canines that day.
"Q.A.W.S. is entirely dependent on the goodwill and gestures of the surrounding community including the air force base and the army camp, which are always offering up time to help us," said Allen. "There are only seven of us that work here full time, three of which get paid, the others, including myself, volunteer full time. It is the only way to ensure the welfare of over 150 animals we have here at any given time."
While volunteering provides a great service to Q.A.W.S., it is also rewarding to the Airmen that have left behind their own pets or simply have a love for animals.
Staff Sgt. Scott Turmell, the volunteer coordinator and member of the 379th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron says he misses his dogs, Sugar and Barkley.
"Giving my time and attention to dogs that wouldn't otherwise get much makes me feel like I am making the most of my time here," said Turmell, deployed from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. and a Mecosta, Mich. native.
Allen explained that they make sure every dog gets two walks a day, for at least 15 minutes. Doing the math, the walking doesn't always get finished before sun down, so every helping hand makes a difference.
"I grew up in a family that always had rescue dogs," said Staff Sgt. Michael Callahan, a member of the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, deployed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI and native of Myersville, Md. "I just wanted to give back while I am deployed and this is something I connected with."
Q.A.W.S. is currently facing some imminent challenges. The shelter is being evicted from the land leased from the government and must relocate by March 31st. Not only does the shelter need to relocate, but they have to start all over again rebuilding the facilities for the animals.
"I am very concerned about our future and the welfare of these animals," said Allen. "For fourteen months, no organization has stepped forward to help and without the assistance of our supporters, like the military, local schools and businesses, we simply can't exist."
Donations of any kind are greatly appreciated. The shelter and its furry residents are always in need of food, leashes, collars, toys, cleaning supplies and so much more. Anyone interested in making a donation should visit www.qaws.org to see how you can make a difference.
Disclaimer: IAW AFI 35-107, para. 5.2.8. - The United States Air Force does not endorse the organizational entity, Q.A.W.S., and does not exercise any responsibility or oversight of the content at destination.
*Staff Sgt. Scott Turmell gave us a great interview which we shared during our United We Roll World Tour show on December 10th, 2013.
Sailor's passion pushes full speed ahead
by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
2/15/2014 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- What is passion?
Passion is putting up with only sleeping a few hours a night. It's living off of peanut butter sandwiches and cheese crackers. It's having the fortitude to push past your own body's limits for the sake of the race.
She knows passion.
You could spot this Sailor taking first place in almost every running-based event here; or maybe in the fitness center, working out for hours, using a unique routine, activating nearly every muscle group. Known for having great speed and strength, she was seen wearing a bright, yellow-orange, Navy shirt running around the base or in the forest blazing up the running trail.
She isn't just in it for the healthy lifestyle; she said she's staying in shape for her next adventure race.
This non-stop, multi-day, multi-sport competition encompasses running, mountain biking, trekking, land navigation and a host of other sport-related events.
Lt. Cmdr. Melissa Coombes, Navy Central Command Forward Headquarters Manas/Qatar assistant officer in charge, can run for days -- for fun. Literally, for days at a time, she has raced anywhere from 24 hours to seven days; from the mountains of West Virginia to the sweltering heat of South Africa.
"It's fun; I enjoy doing it," said Coombes, a reservist out of Spokane, Wash. "Once I get started, my stubbornness kicks in and I won't give up."
Coombes started her love of racing when she was 19. She began with orienteering, which is a fast-paced sport that requires navigational skills; participants are given a map and compass to navigate to points in a diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain.
Just two short years later, her love of orienteering blossomed into a life-long craving for adventure racing.
Her passion for racing has taken her to more than 10 countries around the world where she has completed more than 50 different races, to include a race in South Africa.
"When I raced in Africa, we had a three-person team. It was a blast; it was a seven-day event and a started really slow because I wasn't feeling my best," she said. "But I didn't let me beat myself; half way through, I started feeling better."
She explained how some of the designated stopping areas had native dancers, as well as food and spirits waiting to entertain incoming racers.
"It was a blast!" she said smiling. "I remember seeing the kids running with us, asking to ride the bikes we were on, what an experience." Her stubbornness kicked in toward the end of the race while biking. She ended up tethering her two male teammates to her bike and hauling them past finish line.
Coombes and her team took first place in that event. She currently holds about 30 first-place victories in orienteering and adventure races.
But, when she isn't running, this 34 year old is an associate at a law firm where she says her employers there are accommodating to her love of competition.
"My firm is super supportive," said the former Navy helicopter pilot. "My team and I were going to race in an Adventure Race World Championship in Costa Rica last December. My firm was all about giving me the time to go, and was thrilled for me."
However, Coombes received order to mobilize and deploy to the Transit Center at Manas and then to Qatar, where she is now, tracking Navy individual augmentees in and out of Afghanistan.
"Even though I'm not actively out completing races, I'm still keeping up with my fitness," she said. "My workout routine ebbs and flows depending on work constraints and opportunities where I live.
"In San Diego, I used to run just over an hour, five days a week and I would go for long runs on the weekends. In Pensacola, (Fla.,) I raced road bikes on a team and spent the weekends training with the team on long rides or racing around the area. I fit in runs whenever I could on trails, and had a six-mile course around my neighborhood," she explained.
However, while deployed, the one thing she said that has been consistent is training 23 times a week; mostly body weight and core exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, dips and handstands. "It changes all the time. I bore easily, so I like to switch it up," Coombes said.
The next event on Coombes' list is an orienteering World Championship in South Dakota scheduled for the fall.
If anyone is looking into getting into orienteering or adventure racing, Coombes recommends a quick search on the internet for your local or regional area. "It really is a challenge. It takes perseverance, persistence and a whole lot of determination to finish your first one. Stick to it and don't doubt yourself, when you start doubting yourself is when you can start seeing yourself quit - never quit."
*We had the honor of hosting an awesome interview with Lt Cmdr Coombes which was broadcast in our United We Roll World Tour show on December 10, 2013.
TOUCH OF HOME
The Stardust Radio Family salutes an American Legend and Leader
as we also send our prayers of comfort to the family of
Senator/Code Talker Arthur Hubbard
According to the Navajo Nation Council:
"Our Nation and Diné Citizens were truly blessed to have had such a highly respected and distinguished warrior on our side that fought for our Nation, both as a Navajo Code Talker and as a state leader," said [Navajo Nation Council] Speaker [Johnny] Naize. "We will always honor and cherish his sacrifices to make our Nation stronger."
Code Talker Hubbard was born on Jan. 23, 1912 in Topawa, Ariz., located on the Tohono O'odham Nation. He later answered the call to enlist with the U.S. Marine Corps and trained hundreds of men to transmit coded messages using the Navajo language during World War II. In 1972, he became the first Native American to be elected to the Arizona State Legislature, serving as a State Senator for 12 years. Sen. Hubbard is recognized for his tremendous contributions in areas such as welfare, education, and health care which benefited many people across the Navajo Nation and the State of Arizona.
Code Talker Hubbard also served as a water rights advisor to the Tohono O'odham Nation, a Navajo culture and language instructor at Arizona State University, and played an instrumental role in establishing Diné College, the first college established within the Navajo Nation.
Senator Arthur Hubbard passed away on Friday, Feb 7th, 2014
To Our Military Members And Families
Who Serve To Protect Our Freedom...
To Our First Responders And Families
Who Protect Our Families & Communities…
The words Thank You will never be big enough,
for all that you do every single day!
Stardust Radio Network Inc
Supporting Our Military
Since November 11, 2001
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By unitedweroll on Feb 17, 2014 | In Military News and Support
by Master Sgt. Shawn J. Jones
Air Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service
2/12/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Force management programs will push thousands of active-duty Airmen out of their jobs, but opportunities exist in the Air Force Reserve for Airmen who don't want to hang-up their uniforms for good.
"Force management will cost many Airmen their jobs, but not necessarily their careers," said Col. Steve Fulaytar, the Air Force Reserve's director of recruiting. "They can continue their service as Citizen Airmen."
Reserve service provides a benefits package highlighted by programs familiar to most Airmen such as tuition assistance, the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill and the opportunity to work toward a military retirement plan. Additionally, low-cost healthcare insurance is available to most reservists at significantly lower rates than comparable plans, and enlistment bonuses are available for some career fields at specific duty locations.
Airmen transitioning into the Reserve stand to receive many benefits, but they also provide plenty of benefits themselves. New Citizen Airmen who have active-duty experience are valuable to Reserve units because they are mission-ready.
"When an active-duty Airman decides to continue their career in the Reserve, everyone wins," Col. Fulaytar said. "The Airman retains the benefits of continued service, the Reserve gains an Airman who can contribute immediately and the regular Air Force has one less Airman that must be involuntarily separated."
One key difference between active and Reserve service is that Citizen Airmen won't have to relocate to suit the needs of the Air Force. Many reservists spend the majority of their career with one unit and only agree to a permanent change of station when the timing is right for them.
Airmen who are ready to separate don't have to wait until their original enlistment or commission obligation is complete. The Palace Chase program enables Airmen to separate from their active enlistment or commission as long as they continue their service with the Reserve Component.
Airmen should be aware the recruiting process is somewhat different from when they joined the active-duty Air Force. Once Airmen are deemed eligible for Reserve service, they must work with an in-service recruiter to locate a duty location and position that meet their needs.
"Our Reserve units love fully qualified Airmen who can hit the ground running," Fulaytar said. "But finding duty positions for new recruits takes time, so they can help themselves by contacting their in-service recruiter as soon as possible."