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Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Honors ‘True Heroes’

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2012 – The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented six service members with the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs’ Grateful Nation Award yesterday.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs awards dinner in Washington, D.C., Dec. 3, 2012. At the dinner, six service members received the Grateful Nation Award, and the Sen. Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award was presented to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. DOD photo by Claudette Roulo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The honorees came from each of the five branches of the armed forces and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. said the service members are “true heroes, representing the hundreds of thousands of America's sons and daughters who are out there tonight wearing the cloth of our nation.”

“And tonight, somewhere around the world, men and women of that military are redeploying,” the admiral said. “They're coming home to people who understand the price of freedom and want to give back to those who have sacrificed so much to preserve it.”

The recipients of the Grateful Nation Award are: Army Sgt. 1st Class James T. Osaer, Marine Corps Sgt. Brian Riddle, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Strauss, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Tatroe, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Clint T. Campbell, and Army Master Sgt. Paul L. Wiseman of Special Operations Command.

The admiral thanked those who honor the sacrifices made by service members and asked that they continue to do so. "And while you're at it, hire one,” he said.

“Help us to make sure our homeless vets have a place to sleep at night, and that our wounded vets have what they need to succeed in the difficult journey that lies ahead -- for them and their caregivers," Winnefeld said.

The Grateful Nation Award, established in 2003, is presented annually to six service members recognized for having distinguished themselves through superior conduct since 9/11. Honorees are chosen by their respective branch of service and come from the enlisted, noncommissioned officer and junior officer ranks.


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Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr.

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