JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Honorees for this year’s “Portraits in Courage” program were recently released.
“Portraits in Courage” is a 10-year tradition that pays tribute to Airmen who have demonstrated courage in combat, in their community and while overcoming adversity.
One of the honorees representing the Air Education and Training Command is Staff Sgt. Robin Hopkins.
Hopkins, a New Mexico Air National Guard security forces craftsman assigned to the 150th Security Forces Squadron at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, was chosen for her heroism and fight against adversity. Hopkins was a deputy sheriff at the Bernalillo County sheriff’s department in New Mexico when a call came over the radio about a suspect with a stolen police car armed with and shooting an AK-47 assault rifle. She answered the call and put herself directly in the line of fire by attempting to block the suspect. He opened fired at her vehicle as she approached, then swerved around her firing as he passed. One of the shots found its way into her leg, shattering her left femur and femoral artery. Hopkins was determined to not give up and continued working toward her goal of staying in her squadron. While passing a PT test may seem commonplace for an Airman, doing so after a bullet shattered her hip, destroyed both the main artery and caused extensive damage to the two femoral arteries – limiting circulation to her foot on the damaged leg is noteworthy.
“My will to survive and get back to my life was my guiding force,” said Hopkins. “This guy tried to kill me and I wasn’t going to allow him to take anything more away from me than he had.”
"I'm tremendously proud of Robin's accomplishments and everything she's gone through,” said Maj. Christopher George, commander of the 150th Security Forces Squadron. “She's a phenomenal Airman and deputy, and her determination to pass her PT test and remain a part of security forces is an inspiration not only to fellow Airmen and officers, but to everyone."
She passed her physical fitness test with 100 members of her Guard family and two of her physical therapists cheering her on and remains a part of the security forces. Today, she also speaks about her experience and is assigned as a reserve deputy sheriff at the Village of Los Ranchos as a community liaison.
Portraits in Courage is an Air Force chief of staff program and each year honorees from across the Air Force are selected to represent all Airmen who have faced situations like these Airmen every day across the globe. In addition to the luncheon, honorees were spotlighted during a reception and a Heritage to Horizons Concert at the Air Force memorial in Washington, D.C.
In the 10 years since its inception, more than 167 Airmen have been honored through Portraits in Courage. The 2017 program honors 21 stories showcasing 49 courageous military and civilian Airmen.
All of this year’s Portraits in Courage stories are featured on the 70th Air Force Birthday portraits in courage page at http://static.dma.mil/usaf/70/
. Profiles from previous volumes are featured on the Air Force Portraits in Courage website: http://static.dma.mil/usaf/courage/