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2015 Honorees

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SECOND CLASS PETTY OFFICER THADDEUS POLLARD

Cincinnati Bengals

August 24th

US Navy Second Class Petty Officer Thaddeus Pollard served the United States of America in World War II. Serving at Pearl Harbor, Mr. Pollard repaired submarines and installed radar gear on roughly two-thirds of all Navy submarines in existence at the time before joining the crew of USS Holland. Today, Mr. Pollard resides in Largo and shares his time with Honor Flight of West Central Florida and the ToyMakers of East Lake.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Chief Warrant Officer IV Jason Briggs (COAST GUARD)
  • Major Rachelle Hathaway (ARMY)
  • Seaman William Jimenez, Jr. (COAST GUARD)
  • Chief Petty Officer Richard Klein (NAVY)
  • Technical Sergeant Juan Merizalde (AIR FORCE)
  • Sergeant Tuan Nguyen (MARINES)
  • Gunnery Sergeant Roque Perez (MARINES)
  • Airman First Class Heather Zaretskyi (AIR FORCE)

CORPORAL JACK HARMON

Cleveland Browns

August 29th

US Marine Corps Corporal Jack Harmon served the United States of America in World War II. On April 1, 1945, Corporal Harmon was part of the sixth wave to land in Okinawa, Japan. Today, Corporal Harmon resides in Redington Shores, FL.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Senior Airman Christine Colon (AIR FORCE)
  • Petty Officer First Class LeRoy Edwards (NAVY)
  • Sergeant First Class Michael Gradzki (ARMY NATIONAL GUARD)
  • Technical Sergeant Michelle Humphrey (AIR FORCE)
  • Corporal Justin Owens (MARINES)
  • Sergeant First Class Severiano Rivera (ARMY)
  • Lieutenant Cornell Woodley (NAVY)
  • Boatswains Mate 2nd Class Chase Wyatt (COAST GUARD)

CAPTAIN EDWIN LEVIN

Tennessee Titans

September 13th

US Air Force Captain Edwin Levin served the United States of America in World War II. During the War, Captain Levin flew 28 aerial missions from Italy into German-occupied territory and received the Air Force Air Medal for his aerial combat service. Captain Levin’s historic 483rd Bombardment Group played a significant role in the eventual defeat of Germany's forces during World War II.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Sergeant First Class Nicholas Burhans (ARMY)
  • Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Camacho (AIR FORCE)
  • Corporal Nicholas Clark (MARINES)
  • Chief Petty Officer Josiah Davis (NAVY)
  • Personnel Specialist First Class Matthew Gooden (NAVY)
  • Petty Officer Third Class John Montelbano (COAST GUARD)
  • Senior Airman Joshua Ortega (AIR FORCE)
  • Staff Sergeant Jamie Stockton (ARMY)

LIEUTENANT HARLAN TWIBLE

Carolina Panthers

October 4th

US Navy Lieutenant Harlan Twible served the United States of America in World War II. Lieutenant Twible was aboard the historic USS Indianapolis when it was tragically sunk by enemy forces. After spending five nights and four days clinging to life in the shark-infested waters of the Philippine Sea, Lieutenant Twible was rescued. For his bravery and commitment to service, Lieutenant Harlan Twible was awarded the Purple Heart among many other accolades.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Tom Bound (COAST GUARD)
  • First Class Petty Officer Miles Burdette (NAVY)
  • Staff Sergeant Richard Emanuelson (ARMY NATIONAL GUARD)
  • Staff Sergeant Kevin Hasselbach (AIR FORCE)
  • Sergeant Joshua McCallister (MARINES)
  • Airman First Class Jonathan Meltz (AIR FORCE)
  • Staff Sergeant Mark Moorehouse (ARMY)
  • Petty Officer Second Class Roderick Stevenson (NAVY)

CORPORAL YAMEL ARRONTE

Jacksonville Jaguars

October 11th

US Army Corporal Yamel Arronte served the United States of America as a combat medic during the Gulf War. Corporal Arronte was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2013, enduring ten surgeries and a radical double mastectomy since diagnosis. A Tampa native and graduate from Leto High School and University of South Florida, Corporal Arronte now serves as an Area 2 Transportation district resource teacher for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Major James Dillard (AIR FORCE) & Lynn Dillard
  • Brigadier General Ralph H. Groover II (AIR FORCE) & Lynne Groover
  • Captain Joshua Gunderson (AIR FORCE) & Reina Campbell
  • Master Sergeant Steve Hooper (AIR FORCE) & Vanessa Holloway-Hooper
  • Senior Airman Karen Mauro (AIR FORCE) & Technical Sergeant Christopher Mauro
  • Major Virdette Otkins (ARMY)
  • Colonel Ricardo Ramirez (ARMY) & Yelba Ramirez
  • Technical Sergeant Kennett Taft (AIR FORCE)

COLONEL BUZZ ALDRIN

New York Giants

November 8th

Colonel Buzz Aldrin is an American icon that forever changed history when he was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11 to the first moon landing and along with Neil Armstrong became one of the first men to ever walk on the moon. After graduating third in his class at West Point, Buzz joined the Air Force where he flew F-86 Sabre jets in 66 combat missions in Korea. Joining NASA in 1963, Buzz pioneered many of the critical techniques that are still used to-date. In 1966, on the Gemini 12 Orbital Mission, Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk and took the first selfie in space. On July 20, 1969, in front of a television audience of 600 million people, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk. For his bravery and commitment to service, Buzz was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award, among many other accolades. Today, Buzz Aldrin supports the VetSalute initiative – encouraging military veterans to salute the flag during the National Anthem. If you’re a veteran please salute the flag with Buzz to show your pride in your military service.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Major Matthew Bain (MARINES) & Family
  • Lieutenant Colonel David Carlson (AIR FORCE) & Family
  • Lieutenant Aaron Cook (NAVY) & Family
  • Petty Officer Third Class Brice Hastings (COAST GUARD) & Family
  • Major Mark Lee (ARMY) & Family
  • First Sergeant Patrick Marasco (ARMY NATIONAL GUARD) & Family

SERGEANT BENJAMIN LIZURA

Dallas Cowboys

November 15th

US Army Sergeant Benjamin Lizura served the United States of America in World War II. During the war, Sergeant Lizura valiantly fought in Normandy on D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, and countless other small invasions in Central Europe, France and Germany. For his bravery and commitment to service, Sergeant Benjamin Lizura was awarded the World War II Victory Medal among many other accolades.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Aviation Electronics Technician Second Class Michael Allen (COAST GUARD)
  • Staff Sergeant Melissa Cooper (AIR FORCE)
  • Boatswain's Mate Third Class Andrew Kyler (COAST GUARD)
  • Staff Sergeant Jenne Markovitz (AIR FORCE)
  • Staff Sergeant Matthew Muhr (AIR FORCE)
  • Staff Sergeant Muhammad Nashagh (MARINES)
  • Major Sam Nashagh (MARINES)

LIEUTENANT RUTH HECKINGER

Atlanta Falcons

December 6th

US Army Lieutenant Ruth Heckinger served the United States of America in World War II. During the war, Lieutenant Heckinger served as an Army nurse in China, Burma and India, on dangerous missions to support the Flying Tigers, the first American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force. Lieutenant Heckinger helped rescue wounded servicemen and pilots to rear hospitals for treatment and recovery.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Seaman Michael Clark (COAST GUARD)
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer Walter Eisenmann (NAVY)
  • Lieutenant Sean Grube (NAVY)
  • Gunnery Sergeant David Lopez (MARINES)
  • Technical Sergeant Latonya Mathis (AIR FORCE)
  • Specialist Reginald Moore (ARMY)
  • Captain Claudio Rodriguez (ARMY)
  • Airman First Class Edward Santiago (AIR FORCE)

GUNNER'S MATE FIRST CLASS GEORGE KASS

New Orleans Saints

December 13th

US Navy Gunner’s Mate First Class George Kass served the United States of America in World War II. During the war, he was on the USS San Francisco docked at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Gunner’s Mate First Class Kass was also on several other important ships during the war, including the USS Ashtabula that was torpedoed by the Japanese in the Philippines leaving sailors injured to limp back to the navy base. For his bravery and commitment to service, he was awarded many ribbons and medals.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Captain Jonathan Barillas (AIR FORCE)
  • Airman First Class Solomon Campbell (AIR FORCE)
  • Master Sergeant Steven Connor (ARMY NATIONAL GUARD)
  • Sergeant David Hodge (MARINES)
  • Seaman Sandrea Johnson (COAST GUARD)
  • Hospital Corpsman Second Class Petty Officer James Sites (NAVY)
  • Sergeant First Class Justin Westbrook (ARMY NATIONAL GUARD)
  • Boatswain's Mate Second Class Tyler Wilson (COAST GUARD)

CORPORAL MERRILL CRIPPEN

Chicago Bears

December 27th

US Marine Corporal Merrill Crippen served the United States of America in World War II. During the war, Corporal Crippen valiantly fought in multiple battles, including the Battle of Iwo Jima, in which he was there for the raising of the flag. Out of 320 men he was one of only 23 men to survive. Corporal Crippen was shot 3 separate times during the war. For his service, he was awarded a Purple Heart Medal and a Silver Star Medal.

Salute To Service Suite

  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Brown (NAVY)
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Latulip (ARMY)
  • DCFN Mark Alan Korson (NAVY)
  • Colonel Harry Lane (AIR FORCE)
  • Sergeant First Class Jason Crouch (ARMY)
  • E5 Sergeant Michal Akin (ARMY)
  • Chief Warrant Officer Robert Kidney (AIR FORCE)
  • Major Charles Holmes (AIR FORCE)