Military Affairs Committee honors Plough/ Young Award Recipients


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The Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee (MAC) was honored to present the Plough/Truman Award to two outstanding serviceman from the 161st Air Refueling Wing unit. The awards ceremony took place on October 10, 2018 at the Goldwater Air National Guard Base.

Colonel Fausto Padilla presented Staff Sergeant Alfred J. Serventi with the TSgt Donald Plough Award. SSgt Serventi is a KC-135 Crew Chief and a fulltime student at Northern Arizona University. After attending Airman Leadership School, he was awarded the John L. Levitow Award, which is the highest award that can be received at any enlisted professional military education course. Sergeant Serventi has supported and deployed to several contingencies to include Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, NOBLE EAGLE, PACOM AEF STEADY STATE, and INHERENT RESOLVE. 

Staff Sergeant Alfred J. Serventi and Military Affairs Committee Chair Elaine Vreeland

Lieutenant Colonel Jessica Hastings accepted the Maj Truman Young Award on behalf of Captain Benjamin D. Howell since he was not able to return from a Temporary Duty Assignment. Capt Howell is a KC-135 pilot and a family man with four children. He was a distinguished graduate of the KC-135 Pilot initial qualification course at Altus AFB, Oklahoma and he recently completed Aircraft Commander Upgrade training. He has served multiple deployments and temporary duties worldwide, including multiple deployments to the Middle East and a search and rescue deployment to the Horn of Africa. 

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Lt Col Hastings accepts the Maj Truman Young Award on behalf of Captain Benjamin D. Howell from Military Affairs Committee Chair Elaine Vreeland

These awards were established to honor Maj. Truman Young, a pilot, and Tech. Sgt. Donald Plough, a boom operator, who were killed when their KC-135 was hit in a mid-air collision and crashed on March 13, 1982. Both served honorably in the Arizona Air National Guard with the 161 ARW and their legacy continues with an annual award in their name. Individuals are nominated and must fulfill several requirements to be considered, including exceptional duty performance and military bearing, loyalty and devotion to country, and community involvement. 

The Military Affairs Committee would like to thank all of the civilians and military personnel who attended the luncheon to show their support for Capt Howell and SSgt Serventi. The MAC would also like to thank their Patriot sponsor, Cox Business and their Red, White, & Blue sponsor, University of Phoenix. Also, thank you Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phx Tempe – University, Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, and Candlewood Suites Phoenix – Tempe for providing gifts for our honorees. And last but not least, thank you Special Moments Catering for catering the event.

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