Family Forum / By Judy Konitzer: Editor’s Note: Meeting at the Warrior Hall Simulation Complex, spouses enjoyed the chance to “fly” a variety of helicopters. While the ladies were not encouraged to participate in live missions anytime soon, it was acknowledged that their “flying” skills were still pretty impressive.
Afterwards we enjoyed lunch at Ingrid’s Castle Café where Mrs. Michael Lundy (Paula) presented Ingrid Strange a bouquet of flowers to celebrate her upcoming birthday and to thank her for her love and support to our Soldiers and their families over the years.
AAAA Awardee Family Members Share Their Thoughts
Always a special evening was the Aviation Senior Leaders Dinner held in the Army Aviation Museum where nine of AAAA’s 2015 Functional Awards were presented to well deserving Soldiers and Civilians. Afterwards I had the distinct honor to meet and congratulate the awardees, and to mingle with their spouses, parents, and friends who came from near and far to participate in this event – a special thank you to the following who shared their thoughts with us.
Army Aviation Trainer of the Year – SFC Theodore L. Sager
There is not a more deserving individual of this prestigious award than my husband. I am so very proud of him as are our children. He gives his all in everything he does and thoroughly enjoyed his job as Senior Combat Skills Instructor at Combat Skills/Green Platoon 160th. He worked with his “teammates” to make certain the 160th Special Operations received top of the line Soldiers. The AAAA experience was a very positive one and it is an honor to be a part of such an outstanding organization. I applaud them for recognizing these Soldiers for a job well done!
Army Aviation Medicine Award – COL Scott A. Salmon
In typical fashion, my husband downplayed the award, and with my not being too familiar with AAAA, I didn’t know what to expect. When I read the information about attire, menus, and venues, I started to think it was a bigger deal than Scott led me to believe. Everyone connected with the organization was very friendly and unassuming. I felt very proud of Scott with the leadership from AAAA in attendance and the many details that were considered. The actual presentation of the awards was really special, and I was so happy to see him distinguished in that way. Being on the receiving end of long work days, work weekends, trips out of town, extra-curricular obligations, etc., it is nice to know that these awards exist to validate all the hard work and dedication.
Army Aviation Air/Sea Rescue Award – CW3 David S. Johnson, CPT Jonathan I. Dickson, SSG Marion D. Pettus, SGT Cameron M. Jackson
My wife and I were so proud of our son SSG Pettus III (Tres) and the crew that he works with in Yakima Training Center. Their teamwork was recognized for the rescue of an injured climber on Mount Adams. We were relieved as parents last June when we were informed about the crew’s action and our son was safe. My wife and I were grateful to the AAAA for inviting us to the award banquet. – David Pettus
As a mom and wife of a military family, part of one of the seven core values of the Army that has always stuck with me for various reasons is: Personal Courage – face fear, danger or adversity; physical courage, a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Meaning mission first, never accept defeat, never quit, and never leave a fallen comrade. This is exactly what this group of award winners did. My husband and I are very excited and proud of our son and his fellow colleagues. This is an outstanding accomplishment for our military and a great achievement. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this joyous celebration. – Melissa Pettus
Air Traffic Control Maintenance Technician of the Year – SGT Michael S. Schwartz
I have been with my husband from the very beginning of his Army career. We were aware from the very start that this career path would mean we would have some serious time apart. My husband has always given his best at everything he sets out to do. He loves his family and his two little boys aged 3 years and 14 months are his world. He has said multiple times that if he is going to spend time away from us that he is going to do his best work. He makes his time mean something. It is especially nice to know that others have noticed his hard work and character. I am beyond proud of him and attending the AAAA awards was an honor. We shared a meal with true American Heroes. It was a once in a lifetime experience and is a memory that I cannot wait to share with our boys when they are older. My husband and I would like to say thank you again to AAAA for taking care of travel arrangements. He is currently serving an unaccompanied tour in Honduras and it was so nice to be able to spend a few days with him.
Air Traffic Control Facility of the Year – Accepted by Mr. David Arroyo
I know that my husband along with all of the Air Traffic Controllers at Fort Belvoir work very hard every day. It makes me extremely happy to see that others not only notice, but appreciate all that they do also.
As always I look forward to hearing from our families wherever you are in the world and who are willing to share your insights and stories with our readers.