Deserving Airman wins award for excellence
By 1st Lt Cody Hawkins & 1st Lt Jessica Chapa, 137 ARW Public Affairs
/ Published October 25, 2011
April, 2011 -- One of WRANGB's own is the National Guard Bureau's 2010 Outstanding Air National Guard Chaplain Assistant of the Year Award - Minuteman Award recipient.
Tech. Sgt. Joshua Barry of the 137th Air Refueling Wing was honored with the award for his outstanding service both at Will Rogers and while on a 6-month deployment to Dover Air Force Base, Del.
Here at his home base, Sgt. Barry is a standout performer and has been recognized for his hard work and outstanding service.
While deployed to Dover in support of the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Chaplain's Office from January 29, 2010 to July 1, 2010, Sgt. Barry tirelessly worked to aid the mortuary staff in processing and preparing the remains of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen killed in conflicts around the world. He organized morale trips for the mortuary affairs team, along with weekly dinners.
Sgt. Barry also assisted the families of dead war heroes as their remains were sent home to be buried. Sgt. Barry recalled one of those trips in which a grieving wife was unable to console her two daughters.
"I felt like I was their big brother," said Sgt. Barry, "All I could do was hold them while they cried through the transfer of their father. I will never forget that."
While deployed, Sgt. Barry also took the initiative to change up the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center's "Resiliency Briefing," which earned him praise from his deployed commander and command chief.
He coordinated a morale and welfare outing that gave members of the AFMAOC a chance to attend a NASCAR event. He put together a Pizza and Conversation program that grouped military personnel there with helping agencies in an open and friendly environment - nearly 50 members showed for his first luncheon.
Finally, Sgt. Barry worked with dozens of volunteers to prepare and deliver monthly home-cooked meals to Airmen temporarily assigned to Dover AFB and to those living in the dormitories.
"There is not a day that passes that I'm not reminded of the sacrifice young men and women of this country have paid to ensure the freedom of our country," said Sgt. Barry.
While not in uniform, Sgt. Barry said he likes to spend his time volunteering in the local community.
He's also working towards a Master of Social Work degree. Sgt. Barry recently graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, along with finishing up his 7-level Career Development Course. He is also an active member of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard and the National Guard Association of Oklahoma.