105th Airman Killed in Afghanistan to be Honored with Posthumous Heroism Medal on Saturday
STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, NEWBURGH, NY (04/09/2015)(readMedia)-- New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Todd "T.J." Lobraico, a member of the 105th Airlift Wing who was killed in action in Afghanistan in Sept. 2013, will be recognized with the posthumous award of the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, during a ceremony at Stewart Air National Guard Base on Saturday, April 11.
A building at the base will also be dedicated in his honor. Members of the press are invited to attend the event.
WHO: New York Air National Guard Master Sgt. Todd Lobriaco, Lobraico's father and , Lt. Col. Linda Rohatsch, his mother, the leaders and Airmen of the 105th Base Defense Squadron and the 105th Airlift Wing.
WHAT: Award of a posthumous Bronze Star Medal for valor to mark Staff Sgt. Lobraico's heroic actions on Sept. 5, 2013. Building 106, the 105th Base Defense Squadron headquarters, will also be dedicated in his honor.
WHEN: 1 p.m. on Saturday April 11, 2015. Press should be at the gate at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Stewart Air National Guard Base, One Maguire Way, Newburgh, NY 12550
Video and still imagery of the medal presentation and interviews with unit members and leaders.
Members of the Media interested in covering the event should e-mail email@example.com no later than 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11 for access to this secure military facility.
Staff Sgt. Todd J. Lobraico Jr
Staff Sgt. Todd J. Lobraico Jr., known to his family and friends as "TJ" died in Afghanistan on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Lobraico Jr. died of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He was deployed to Afghanistan with a team of 105th Security Forces Squadron Airmen who deployed to Afghanistan at the end of June.
The unit is trained to secure air bases and trains and fights much like Army infantry.
Lobraico, age 22, was on his second deployment since enlisting in the 105th Airlift Wing as a security forces apprentice in June 2008. He deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq from December 2010 to June 2011.
Lobraico joined the 105th Airlift Wing in 2008 after graduating from New Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Connecticut. He attended the Air Force's Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, graduating in November 2008 and then entered Security Forces Apprentice School which he finished in February 2009.
Lobraico was a resident of Sherman, Connecticut. He was a 2008 graduate of New Fairfield High School.
Lobraico's father Master Sgt. Todd Lobraico, is a member of the 105th Security Forces Squadron of the 105th Airlift Wing and his is mother, Lt. Col. Linda Rohatsch, is the commander of the 105th Airlift Wing's Medical Group.
Lobraico's other awards include the Meritorious Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon, and the New York State Humane Service Medal.
Lobraico is the first member of the New York Air National Guard to die in a combat zone since Sept. 11, 2001.
Thirty-two members of the New York Army National Guard have been killed in action or died in a combat zone since Sept. 11, 2001. Nine of those deaths were in Afghanistan and 23 were in Iraq.
This brought to 33 the total number of New York National Guard combat deaths since 2001: with ten New York National Guard members dying in Afghanistan and 23 in Iraq.
STAFF SGT. TODD LOBRAICO JR.'S BRONZE STAR CITATION
Staff Sergeant Todd J. Lobraico Jr. distinguished himself by heroism as Truck Commander, Reaper 7, Maneuver Flight, 755th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Group, 445th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on 5 September 2013. On that date, Sergeant Lobraico volunteered to establish a listening and observation post eight miles from base in known hostile enemy territory.
Despite the inherent risks, he volunteered to take the point position on this mission, scouting ahead and providing security for his fire team. Sergeant Lobraico discovered a large, numerically superior insurgent force in the midst of establishing a planned combined rocket propelled grenade, improvised explosive device and small arms complex ambush of his fire team.
With total disregard for his own safety he placed himself directly between his fire team and the insurgents who unleashed a hellish barrage of rocket, grenade, and small arms fire. Sergeant Lobraico took immediate and decisive actions while braving this intense enemy fire, and was mortally wounded while directing the maneuver of his fire team to covered positions from which they could effectively defend themselves and return fire on the enemy positions.
His actions were instrumental in gaining fire superiority and the survival of his team.
Sergeant Lobraico's remarkable heroism, valorous actions and selfless commitment to his fellow Defenders resulted in the removal of numerous insurgents from the battle field at the cost of his own life. By his heroic actions and unselfish dedicate to duty in the service of his country, Sergeant Lobraico has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
The Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is an individual military award of the United States Armed Forces. It may be awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious service in a combat zone. The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth-highest individual military award and the ninth-highest by order of precedence in the US Military. When awarded for acts of heroism, the medal is awarded with the "V" device.
The Bronze Star Medal was conceived by Colonel Russell P. "Red" Reeder in 1943, who believed it would aid morale if there was a medal which could be awarded by captains of companies or batteries to deserving people serving under them. Reeder felt another medal was needed to be a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, and proposed that the new award be called the "Ground Medal".
Since the award criteria state that the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded to "any person...while serving in any capacity in or with" the U.S. Armed Forces, awards to members of foreign armed services serving with the United States are permitted. Thus, a number of Allied soldiers received the Bronze Star Medal in World War II, as well as U.N. soldiers in the Korean War, Vietnamese and allied forces in the Vietnam War, and coalition forces in recent military operations such as the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraq War.
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