USO salutes 12 outstanding service members

by Senior Airman Katherine Holt
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th annual United Service Organizations Europe Service Salute was held Oct. 14 on Ramstein.

Held yearly to honor the best of the best, the USO Europe Service Salute recognized 12 outstanding junior enlisted personnel, representing the U.S. and German armed forces, for their outstanding military and community achievements.

“The men and women you saw here tonight are the reason our military is successful,” said Gen. Mark A. Welsh, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander. “They are leaders, warriors, incredible patriots and they are my heroes.”

Welsh also recognized all of the military spouses in the audience.

“Ladies and gentlemen, people don’t come any more dedicated than this,” he said. “They don’t come any more honorable.”

The USO Europe Service Salute also celebrated and reinforced the strong partnership between the armed forces of the U.S. and Germany.

“The people of Germany are not only our friends; they are strong partners and have been for a long time now,” Welsh said. “We fight beside them and we fly with their air force.”

Professor Dr. Hans-Jürgen Seimetz represented the event’s German patron, Kurt Beck, minister president of Rheinland-Pfalz. The event’s U.S. patron was Ambassador to Germany Philip D. Murphy. Welsh and Generalleutnant Rainer Koff, Kommandierender General Multinationales Korps Nord-Ost, gave congratulatory remarks before the awards ceremony.

Koff encouraged the awardees to take pride in their accomplishment.
“Your superiors put you in for this award because you are the best of the best,” he said. “You do your best and you give your best. You can and must be proud of your work.”

The Award Recipients Were:
• Spc. Brian D. Berg, U.S. Africa Command
• Stabsgefreiter Valeri Müller, German Army
• Spc. Michael A. Perez-Arce, U.S. Army Europe
• Cpl. Jade A. Carter, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe
• Stabsgefreiter Martin Flintrop, German Navy
• Master At Arms Third Class Lisa M. Toldeo, U.S. Naval Forces Europe
• Stabsgefreiter Gabriel Bandt, German Air Force
• Senior Airman Cassidy D. Roy, U.S. Air Forces in Europe
• Machinery Technician Third Class Garett R. Brada, U.S. Coast Guard
• Spc. Michael Michael R. Sandoval, U.S. Special Operations Command
• Oberstabsgefreiter Andrea Damisch, German Joint Medical Service
• Stabsunteroffizier Heiko Neumann, German Joint Support Service