by Senior Airman Erin Trower
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
12/4/2015 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Local
community members in St. Andrews Hall listened attentively for the
announcement of the 2015 Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award nominees and
winners, Dec. 3. At this occasion, heroes of the community were
nominated for their selfless actions, portrayal of bravery and service
David Whiteley, BBC radio host and master of ceremonies for the evening opened by welcoming the heroes and other attendees.
"We are celebrating the wonderful people in this room," Whiteley said.
"You're the people who are the backbone, who get up every day and do
what you do best."
One of the 16 categories celebrated was the Armed Services Person of the
Year award. One of the three nominees was an Airman from the 48th
On January 26, 2015, a Hellenic F-16 crashed during Tactical Leadership
Program 15-1 at Albacete Air Base, Spain, killing nine French and two
Greek service members, and injuring 21 others. While most sought safety
from the flames, six Airmen ran toward the wreckage to help others and
provide first aid. Staff Sgt. Eli Gordon, 492nd Aircraft Maintenance
Unit activity security manager, was one of those Airmen who demonstrated
great courage and bravery.
The crowd applauded as Gordon was named the Armed Services Person of the Year.
Gordon, who is currently deployed to an undisclosed location, was unable
to attend the ceremony. However, his wife, Amanda Gordon, and Lt. Col.
Joseph Deporter, 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, accepted
the award on his behalf.
"He would be really humbled and probably wouldn't think he deserved it," Amanda said.
Throughout the ceremony, Gordon was portrayed as exceptionally courageous.
"It's truly humbling," Deporter said. "I'm very proud of all the Airmen
that serve at RAF Lakenheath and this is a great example of all the
Airmen that we have serving."
The Liberty Wing continues to build partnerships and strengthen the
relationship with our allies and local community members in the United
"We have so many wonderful Armed Forces stationed here in Norfolk, and
we have a proud history in this region working with the U.S.," concluded