Military News

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Purple Heart recipients honored during banquet

by Airman Shawna L. Keyes
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8/10/2015 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C.  -- Two active-duty Airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, along with 48 local veterans, were honored at a Purple Heart Banquet, Aug. 7, at the First Pentecostal Holiness Church in Goldsboro.

The event honored service members from Eastern North Carolina who've received the medal, representing every major conflict since World War II.

"I think this event is great," said Chief Master Sgt. John McCarthy, 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent. "The Wayne County community and everything they do for us vets, both active and retired, is phenomenal."

The Purple Heart Medal, which was established by former President George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782, is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces who is wounded or killed while serving in support of contingency operations.

McCarthy and Col. Christopher Freeman, 414th Fighter Group commander, were honored for their service and sacrifice. Both received their medals for injuries suffered during the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, June 25, 1996.

"I love coming to this banquet and meeting all the other vets," Freeman said. "Whether they're from Vietnam all the way forward into (current operations), I think it's neat to meet them and hear their stories. That's what I enjoy about this and I also think it's awesome that Goldsboro puts this together; it's an amazingly cool event."

Despite their injuries, both McCarthy and Freeman continue to serve in prominent leadership roles at Seymour Johnson AFB.

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