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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 131-12
February 23, 2012

White House Hosts “A Nation’s Gratitude” Dinner to Honor Veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn

            The Department of Defense announced today the names of 78 service members who have been invited to attend the Feb. 29 White House dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Obama to express the nation’s gratitude to, and recognize the significant contributions of, the men and women in uniform who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation New Dawn, and the families who supported them.

            Service members who will attend come from across America; from diverse backgrounds, ranks; and from all services, including Guard and Reserve.  Most remain on active duty.  These service members and family members represent more than a million Americans and their families who served and made personal sacrifices in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

            Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and the chiefs of the five services and National Guard and Reserve will also attend the dinner.

            The list below indicates each service member or veteran’s home state and branch of service.  Please use the Public Affairs Contact number provided for more information about attendees or to arrange interviews.

            Alabama:  Staff Sgt. Shawon Tucker; Army; PA contact, McDonald Army Health Center, Fort Eustis, 757-314-7844.

            Alaska:  Maj. Shannon Thompson; Army; PA contact, Redstone Arsenal, 256-503-3726.

            American Samoa:  Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Nikolao; Army; PA contact, 101 Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, 270-956-3489.

            Arizona:  Capt. Brian D. Hartman; Army; PA contact, Joint Readiness Training, Fort Polk, 337-531-1392.

            Arkansas:  Cpl. Aaron Mankin; Marine Corps.

            Arkansas:  Staff Sgt. Joseph May; Marine Corps; PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703-432-0289.

            California:  Maj. Eldridge R. Singleton; Army; PA contact: student, California, 760-725-5799.

            Colorado:  Sgt. John-Mark Gladstone; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            Colorado:  Petty Officer 3rd Class Max R. Rohn; Navy; PA contact, Bureau of Navy Medicine, 202-762-3221.

            Connecticut:  Master Sgt. William Tomlin; Army; PA contact, Asymmetric Warfare, Fort Meade, 301-677-4935.

            Delaware:  Sgt. 1st Class Sebastian K. Ellis; Army; PA contact, Headquarters Brigade, Fort Bliss, 915-744-8492.

            District of Columbia:  Capt. Yolanda Lee; ARNG; PA contact, District of Columbia National Guard, 202-685-9862.

            Florida:  Master Chief Petty Officer Richard D. Lamoureux; Navy; PA contact, Naval Special Warfare Command, Group 2, 619-522-2824.

            Georgia:  Staff Sgt. J.H. Smith; Air Force; PA contact, Hurlburt Field, Air Force Special Operations Command, 850-884-7285.

            Georgia:  Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy; Rick West; Navy; PA contact, Chief of Information (CHINFO), 703-697-5342.

            Guam:  Spc. Janice Hernandez Flores; ARNG; PA contact, Guam National Guard, 671-735-0409.

            Hawaii:  Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall; ANG; PA contact, National Guard Bureau, 703-607-2581.

            Hawaii:  Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nelson A. Visaya; Army; PA contact, 2nd Combat Aviation Battalion, Seoul, Korea, 01182-10-6455-6423.

            Idaho:  Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Mike Leavitt; Coast Guard; PA contact, Headquarters Office of Public Affairs, 202-372-4634.

            Illinois:  Gunnery Sgt Tawanda M. Hanible; Marine Corps; PA contact, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, 703-784-9047.

            Indiana:  Master Sgt. Jorge H. Perez; Army; PA contact, Headquarters and HQ Company, Fort Carson, 719-503-0071.

            Iowa:  Lt. Col. Beth Behn; Army; PA contact, United States Military Academy, 845-938-2006.

            Iowa:  Staff Sgt. Jesse Lee Wandling; Army; PA contact, 160th Aviation Company, Fort Campbell, 270-412-8108.

            Kansas:  Chief Petty Officer Joseph Castro; Coast Guard; PA contact, Headquarters Office of Public Affairs, 202-372-4634.

            Kansas:  1st Lt. Paul S. Gonzalez; Army; PA contact, 401st Engineer Company, Reserves, Oklahoma, 910-570-8329.

            Kentucky:  Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher J. Henderson; Navy; PA contact, Naval Air Force Reserve Public Affairs, 757-322-5687.

            Louisiana:  Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia; Marine Corps; PA contact, Joint Staff Public Affairs, 703-697-4272.

            Maine:  Master Sgt. Jeremy G. Coombs; Air Force.

            Maine:  Master Sgt. Shane Lacaillade; Air Force; PA contact, Whiteman Air Force Base, Air Force Global Strike Command, 660-687-6122.

            Maine:  Col. Todd Scott Desgrosseilliers; Marine Corps, PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703-432-0289.

            Maryland:  Maj. Brian E. Wobensmith; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            Massachusetts:  Staff Sgt. Andrew Piirainen; Air Force; PA contact, Hill Air Force Base, Air Force Material Command, 801-775-3652.

            Massachusetts:  Gunnery Sgt. Deverson Lochard; Marine Corps; PA contact, 1st Marine Division, 760-725-8766.

            Massachusetts:  Sgt. Maj. of the Army; Raymond Chandler; Army; PA contact, Sgt. Maj. of the Army PAO, 703-697-5081.

            Michigan:  Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy; Air Force; PA contact, Office of the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, 703-695-0498.

            Michigan:  Master Sgt. Jessica R. Coombs; Air Force; PA contact, Kadena Air Base, Air Mobility Command, 011-81-6117-34-3813.

            Michigan:  Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald J. Riling; Army; PA contact, Headquarters Army Materiel Command, Fort Belvoir, 703-805-5001.

            Minnesota:  Staff Sgt. Benjamin N. Straubel; ARNG; PA contact, Minnesota National Guard, 651-268-8949.

            Minnesota:  Maj. John Michael Tate; Army; PA contact, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, student, 757-788-3400.

            Mississippi:  Staff Sgt. Harry Prassenos; Marine Corps; PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703-432-0289.

            Missouri:  Maj. Jennifer S. Parker; Marine Corps; PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703-432-0289.

            Montana:  Sgt. 1st Class; Kyle B. Lyon; Army; PA contact, Fort Campbell, 270-798-3468.

            Nebraska:  Sgt. Heather N. Wunderlich; ARNG; PA contact, Nebraska National Guard, 402-309-7302.

            Nevada:  Maj. Erik J. Jacobson; Air Force; PA contact, Headquarters Air Force, 703-697-9029.

            New Hampshire:  Staff Sgt. Anthony J. Ranfos; Army; PA contact, Sharonville, Ohio, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, 502-626-0167.

            New Hampshire:  Capt. Stephen M. McNeil; Marine Corps; PA contact, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, 703-784-9047.

            New Jersey:  Rear Adm. Frank Morneau; Navy; PA contact, Navy Office of Information, 703-697-5342.

            New Mexico:  Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry; Army; PA contact, Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, 910-432-3383.

            New York:  Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett; Marine Corps; PA contact, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps PAO, 703-614-8762.

            New York:  Col. Stephanie C. Smith; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            North Carolina:  Petty Officer 1st Class Jay Ho Choi; Navy; PA contact, Naval Special Warfare Command, Group 2, 757-763-2007.

            North Dakota:  Sgt. Richard Fiske; Marine Corps; PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703)-432-0289.

            N. Marianas Islands:  Staff Sgt. Leslieanne Wilkinson; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            Ohio:  Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Cooper; Army; PA contact, Spec Ops Aviation, Fort Bragg, 910-432-3383.

            Oklahoma:  Maj. Gen. Vaughn A. Ary; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            Oregon:  Sgt. Sarah Adams; Army; PA contact, Medical Company, Fort Hood, 254-287-9993.

            Pennsylvania:  Petty Officer 2nd Class; Lawrence Benson; Coast Guard; PA contact, Headquarters Office of Public Affairs, 202-372-4634.

            Puerto Rico:  Staff Sgt. Miguel Cruz; Army; PA contact, 687 Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 910-570-8329.

            Rhode Island:  Sgt. Joshua R. Labbe; Army; PA contact, USA, Recruiting, W. Corvina, 502-626-0167.

            South Carolina:  Sgt. Nytayia D. Jamison; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            South Dakota:  1st Sgt. Christina Hunts Horse-May; Marine Corps; PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703-432-0289.

            Tennessee:  Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony H. Bozarth; Navy; PA contact, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, 757-374-0995.

            Tennessee:  Master Sgt. Brian M. Blonder; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            Tennessee:  Senior Master Sgt. Donnie Bolton; Air Force; PA contact, Peterson Air Force Base, Air Force Space Command, 719-556-4698.

            Texas:  Staff Sgt. Eric Alva; Marine Corps.

            Texas:  Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kevin Purtee; ARNG; PA contact, Texas National Guard, 512-782-6856.

            Texas:  Lance Cpl. Steven Schulz; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps, 703-614-4309.

            Texas:  Petty Officer 2nd Class TerryLee Thompson; Navy; PA contact, Naval District Washington Public Affairs, 202-433-2678.

            Utah:  Master Sgt. Kevin T. Bullivant; ANG; PA contact, Utah National Guard, 801-432-4407.

            Utah:  Sgt. 1st Class Robbi A. Stanton; Army; PA contact, Special Warfare Training Group, Fort Bragg, 910-396-9394.

            Vermont:  Col. Peter Newell; Army; PA contact, Rapid Equipping Force, Fort Belvoir, 703-704-2216.

            Virgin Islands:  Sgt. 1st Class James Gaston Sr.; ARNG; PA contact, Virgin Islands National Guard, 340-712-7750.

            Virginia:  Cpl. Kyle L. Taylor; Marine Corps; PA contact, Headquarters Marine Corps 703-614-4309.

            Virginia:  Chief Petty Officer William Castro; Coast Guard; PA contact, Headquarters Office of Public Affairs, 202-372-4634.

            Washington:  Chief Petty Officer Bradley A. VanHorn; Navy; PA contact, Headquarters, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, 202-685-1423.

            West Virginia:  Maj. Carter L. Price; Army; PA contact, Human Resource Command, Fort Knox, 931-472-5364.

            Wisconsin:  Tech. Sgt. Christian Bennett; ANG; PA contact, Wisconsin National Guard, 608-242-3050.

            Wyoming:  Staff Sgt. Rebekka Spanglerloch; Marine Corps; PA contact, Training and Education Command, 703-432-0289.

            Media representatives who have questions about service members without an individual public affairs point of contact are asked to contact the service public affairs offices at the numbers provided below:

            U.S. Army, 703-692-1580

            U.S. Marine Corps, 703-614-4309

            U.S. Navy, 703-697-5342

            U.S. Air Force, 703-695-0640

            U.S. Coast Guard, 202-372-4600

            Army/Air National Guard, 703-607-2586

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