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Air Force recruiter selected by AETC to attend national gala

  • Published
  • By By Staff Sgt. Mike Burchfield
  • 333rd Recruiting Squadron
Staff Sgt. William H. McCoy, an enlisted accessions recruiter from Brandon, Fla., was selected as Air Education and Training Command's representative at this year's American Patriot Award Gala Nov. 16 in Washington D.C. 

The American Patriot Award recognizes exceptional Americans who have demonstrated a profound and abiding love of country, inspirational leadership, and selfless dedication to national security and world peace, and who have significantly advanced our nation's ideals, values and democratic principles. This year's honorees were Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) and Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Md.). 

AETC chose Sergeant McCoy as its sole participant chiefly because of his heroics in Iraq. He deployed to Mosul, Iraq, in January 2004 as part of a first-ever Air Force element assigned to an Army convoy security and support operation. 

During his time in Iraq, he logged thousands of hours while in harm's way supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, often taking hostile fire from insurgents. 

"The night [at the award's gala] was truly an event I will never forget," said Sergeant McCoy. 

"I knew what he did there in Iraq was special," said his wife, Christine. "This made me appreciate him and all our troops so much more. I am very proud of him." 

Because of Sergeant McCoy's outstanding wartime performance, Air Force officials chose him to develop the Air Force's Convoy Training Program at Camp Bullis, Texas, where he wrote course curriculum and developed training exercises and scenarios based on his experiences in Iraq. The procedures he developed have increased the survivability rate of deployed Airmen. 

Sergeant McCoy was one of 40 servicemembers chosen to attend the gala as guests of the National Defense University Foundation. 

The NDU Foundation honors the military with their "Sponsor a Patriot Program" where military members from each branch attend the event as special guests. Each member receives by-name recognition at a reception held by Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.