CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE , NY (03/13/2018) (readMedia)-- A New York Naval Militia member from Peekskill who saved the life of a badly injured truck driver on Jan. 4, will receive New York State's highest military honor at Camp Smith Training Site on Wednesday morning, March 14.
New York Naval Militia Sgt. Christopher Vega, who is also a New York City police officer and a former member of the Marine Corps, will receive the Medal for Valor for his actions following the crash in Peekskill.
WHO: New York Naval Militia Sgt. Christopher Vega; New York Naval Militia Rear Admiral Ten Eyck "Trip" Powell, the commander of the New York Naval Militia; and members of the New York Naval Militia.
WHAT: Award of the Medal for Valor, New York State's highest military medal, which is awarded for heroism on military duty or to a member of the New York Military Forces who is in civilian status at the time of the action. Powell will present the award to Vega.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Wednesday March 14, 2018 (Ceremony will be at 11 but reporters need to to be at Camp Smith gate NLT 10:30 a.m.)
WHERE: Camp Smith Training Site, Route 206, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.
Press will be able to collect still and video imagery of the ceremony and will be able to interview Vega and other ceremony participants.
Members of the press who wish to cover the ceremony MUST contact the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Public Affairs office at 518-876-4581 – email – no later than 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday March 14 for access to this secure military facility.
Sgt. Christopher Vega Award Citation
On January 4, 2018 New York Naval Militia Sgt. Christopher E. Vega distinguished himself during the "Bomb Cyclone" snowstorm which engulfed the eastern United States. Sergeant Vega was on State Active Duty returning from inspecting one of the New York Naval Militia Hudson River patrol boats when he was first on the scene of a horrific traffic accident where a victim [driving a truck] had slid off the icy highway [Main Street near Beecher Park in Peekskill] and crashed into a wall and utility pole. The utility pole was fractured in the accident, crashing through the windshield and cab of the truck mostly severing the victim's leg and pinning him in the cab.
With potentially live power lines cascading over the broken and twisted metal cab, Sergeant Vega pulled the metal cab open, cutting his own hands, and extricated the victim safely away from the dangerous wreckage, using his skill and knowledge gained from his civilian occupation as a New York City Police Officer in the counter terrorism unit, Sergeant Vega applied a tourniquet to the upper leg above the knee where the remained of the leg was hanging by only a few tendons. Sergeant Vega held onto the victim and talked to him about the victim's family to comfort him, while waiting the six minutes for emergency services to arrive.
Sergeant Christopher E. Vega's utter disregard for his own safety, his extraordinary gallantry, courage and valor under blizzard conditions and the threat of electrocution, are in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the New York Naval Militia and the Military Forces of the state of New York.
Sgt. Christopher Vega
New York Naval Militia Sgt. Christopher Vega, age 41, has been a member of the New York Naval Militia since 2016.
The New York Naval Militia is a state force which is composed of members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserve, who also agree to perform state training and state duty when called upon. A small percentage of the 2,800 members are those like Vega, who are not members of one of the Federal Reserve components.
Vega served in the United States Marine Corps from 2000 to 2003.
Since 2005 Vega has served as a member of the New York Police Department and is currently assigned to the World Trade Center Command--Counter Terrorism Bureau.
Vega currently participates in the New York Naval Militia's Military Emergency Boat Service as a patrol boat coxswain. Since May of 2017 he has been serving on state active duty as the coxswain for the patrol boat patrolling the waters of the Hudson River off Indian Point Power Center.
New York Naval Militia
The New York Naval Militia is the naval component of New York's military forces. The New York Naval Militia was originally organized in 1891 as a naval version of the National Guard.
Today the Naval Militia is made up of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve members who are simultaneously enrolled in the Naval Militia. This allows New York to take advantage of these federally trained military personnel and their skills. They agree to perform state active duty and training when possible.
Five percent of the 2,800 New York Naval Militia members do not have to be currently serving in one of the Federal Reserve forces.
The New York Naval Militia provides trained manpower to the state and also mans the Naval Militia fleet of nine patrol vessels organized as the Military Emergency Boat Service.