June 1st True American Local Hero: Deon McGowan, a tech sergeant from Hurlburt Field, recently organized sixteen co-workers to take part in a Ruck March from Hurlburt to Tampa. The ruckers marched over 400 miles to raise awareness of, and over $21,000 for, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The fund allows children of fallen Special Operations personnel to attend college and honors the memory of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. (Deon, left, is pictured here with fellow Ruck Marchers and The Wolf's Diamond Dan)
June 15th True American Local Hero: Kevin Coshow, US Army Sergeant Retired. Being infantry, Kevin fought in the worst places imaginable, was medically retired from the Army following deployment to Iraq, suffers from PTSD and is now part of the Wounded Warrior Project. He's a husband and father who always thinks of others first, and remains SO PROUD to have served his country. According to those who know him, he will FOREVER be a hero... (Pictured: Diamond Dan, PeggyLea Baker from Embassy Suites/Destin-Miramar Beach, Kevin Coshow & Average Lisa)
July 1st True American Local Hero: Crestview Police and Community Service Officer Wanda Hulion. Officer Hulion received numerous nominations. She is wife, mom and grandmother who loves her community and works hard to protect and serve. As the Crestview Community Service Officer she fingerprints children for parents and speaks at Neighborhood Watch groups. She has a heart for the city of Crestview and goes above and beyond to help the citizens.
July 15th True American Local Hero: U.S. Air Force Retired Colonel William B. Colgan. Colonel Colgan was nominated not only as an amazing Fighter-Bomber Pilot, but husband of 68 years, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend...and author of books which shed glory on unsung World War II History. Colonel Colgan went from baseball pro and locomotive fireman to top Fighter-Bomber Pilot and nominee into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.
August 1st True American Local Hero: Staff Sergeant Michael Fularz. Staff Sergeant Fularz is a firefighter stationed at Eglin who works 72 hours a week, goes to school and is a husband and father. His greatest reward as an airman and firefighter was deploying to Iraq and helping to protect the aircraft and airfield, as well as assisting those after any attacks. We honor Staff Sergeant Fularz for his service to our country and community.
August 15 True American Local Hero: EMS Captain Darrel Welborn. Captain Welborn is a True American Local Hero because he has dedicated his entire career to Okaloosa County EMS. He has been employed by OCEMS for the past 24 years and is currently a Shift Captain. Captain Welborn is also a charter member of the FL-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team. He not only serves our local area, but deployed to Homestead and St. Thomas after hurricanes and to New York after 9-11. (pictured below with 105.5 The Wolf's Skip Davis, Darrel Welborn, The Wolf's Average Lisa & Diamond Dan)
September 1 True American Local Hero: Staff Sergeant Douglas Smits. Staff Sergeant Smits is an EOD Instructor at Eglin Air Force Base who was nominated by his wife because this past spring Staff Sergeant Smits witnessed a gentleman from Mississippi who was unconscious in his car near Destin Commons. Staff Sergeant Smits broke the window and performed CPR to help save the man's life until the ambulance arrived.
September 15: Trent Mitchell, an Airman First Class from Hurlburt Field. Mitchell and his wife were on their way to the beach when a woman was shot and collapsed on the road in front of them. He pulled over, applied pressure to her wounds and kept her and her daughter calm until paramedics arrived. Mitchell, who's only 18, had been stationed here for less than a month, but put his military training and first aid skills to use as a True American Local Hero.
October 1: Staff Sergeant Robert W. Calhoun distinguished himself as Military Working Dog Handler, 1st Special Operation Security Forces Squadron, Hurlburt Field. He was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom along with his military working dog Rony. They were critical to the security of over 30,000 Coalition and Host Nations forces, and cleared more than 2,000 miles of dangerous convoy routes laced with explosure pressure plates and roadside bombs. Staff Sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star and is a True American Local Hero. Average Lisa & Diamond Dan presented SSgt Calhoun (who actually got promoted to TSgt on October 1st) his award during Guard Mount at the Security Forces building at Hurlburt.
October 15: Collin Myrick,a recent graduate of Freeport High School, was a lifeguard at the City of Freeport pool this past summer when a 12-year-old boy began to struggle and went under the water. When his mom tried to save him, she was pulled under as well. Collin helped to rescue both of them. The Freeport Fire Rescue and Walton County Fire/EMS responded, but neither victim required medical attention because of Collin's quick reaction. Collin is currently a student at Auburn University...War Eagle! Collin
November 1: Frank Dailey is a Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force who has served his country for 27 years including service in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Kuwait. For his community, Dailey also has served as a Scout Master, event coordinator for the Air Force Enlisted Village and is now the leader for the Emerald Coast Chapter of the Heroes on the Water Program taking veterans kayak fishing along the coast to help in their recovery following injuries.
November 15: Deborah Alford and Shelley Webb, both aides at South Walton High School, who handled a potentially dangerous situation to ensure student safety. When a stranger walked in and then a bomb threat was received, Alford and Webb were able to alert the authorities, get the students and staff evacuated in less than 7 minutes and the man was apprehended by the Sheriff. Debra Alford and Shelley Webb are heroes of South Walton High School and also our True American Local Heroes.