CHEYENNE – Four Wyoming Air National Guard members were recognized as the Wyoming Military Department’s Heroes Among Us for 2017.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Jones and Tech. Sergeants Jonathan Birt, Drew Ballenger and Brandon Rodriguez received the awards Oct. 20 during the agency’s annual Governor’s Reception.
Jones, a member of the 153rd Security Forces Squadron, was recognized for extinguishing flames on the clothing of a man involved in a vehicle fire. He was nominated by Chief Master Sgt. Doug Rhodes.
Rhodes said, “Sgt. Jones’ quick actions to respond to the scene prevented further injury to the driver and kept the flames from spreading to other vehicles in the lot. His quick actions illustrate the caliber of airmen in our organization.”
Birt, a member of the 243rd Air Traffic Control Squadron, dislodged an airway obstruction of an unconscious man at a barbecue. His commander, Lt. Col. Michael Coyle said, his “brave actions reflect great heroism and duty to our nation and community.”
Ballenger and Rodriquez attended to the victim of a one-car rollover between Rawlins and Riverton. The two recruiters, assigned to the 153rd Force Support Squadron, stabilized the victim who had broken ribs and a bruised lung until medical support could arrive. The victim’s daughter posted to the recruiting Facebook page “Can’t thank you guys enough! We are fortunate to still have my mom with us! Amazing people!”
The Hero Among Us Award recognizes heroic efforts of Wyoming Military Department personnel who assist fellow citizens outside the scope of their military duties.
Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, Wyoming’s adjutant general, said the awardees represent the department well. “These men’s actions exemplify the U.S. Air Force’s core value of ‘Service before self’ and are a great asset to the Wyoming Air National Guard.”