944th FW member honored as outstanding Airman of the year
By Master Sgt. Chance Babin, Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs
/ Published May 05, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Air Force Reserve Command honored its outstanding Airmen of the year for 2011 during a ceremony here April 10.
The winners who will represent the command in Air Force competition later this year are: first sergeant - Master Sgt. Anthony Johns, 445th Operations Support Squadron, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Senior NCO - Master Sgt. Sandra L. Plentzas , 944th Fighter Wing, Luke AFB, Ariz.; NCO - Tech. Sgt. Megan J. Legacy, 931st Civil Engineer Squadron, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.; and Airman - Senior Airman Merranda J. Moreno, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Luke AFB.
"The centerpiece of this event is the outstanding Airmen who have been nominated by their respective organizations, who are in fact just the cream of the crop and indicative of and reflective of all of the great talent we've got in the Air Force Reserve," said Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner, Jr., AFRC commander. "I so much appreciate every single one of them."
Commenting on his selection, Johns said: "What it really means is a culmination of all the Airmen who have helped us in all the projects. My leadership opened up some doors to give me the opportunity. I made a call out to our Airmen and they did the job. It's a great, great honor. I hope I can shine well and represent the Air Force Reserve."
Plentzas said she is honored to be one of two of the winning Airmen from the 944th and that they both are representing AFRC in the Air Force competition.
"We just want to thank all our family and friends and everybody who supported us," Plentzas said. "It's just amazing. It's such a great opportunity to take what we've learned and get it out there and pass it on to other people. This is a great opportunity to do that, so I hope I can use it in that way."
Legacy called her mom to let her know what happened.
"She was excited and happy I called to share it with her," Legacy said. "It was a surprise first of all, and an honor second. I just had a really fun year; I've enjoyed my job. [The award] was unexpected but I'm really grateful and humbled. I'm excited to go on to the next round. It's a new challenge and new adventure."
"It's very humbling. I know it took a lot of leadership to get me here. I know I didn't do it alone, so it really means a lot to me," Moreno said. "I feel like I have already won so much. Everything else is just icing on the cake. I'm just so grateful for all of the people who have backed me up and gotten me here and for the support of my husband and unit. It's been amazing."
Chief Master Sgt. Kathleen R. Buckner, AFRC command chief, who was presenting at her first OAY, reflected on what the evening meant to her and the command.
"What we had here tonight was the tip of the spear. This is a celebration of who we are as a command," the chief said. "At Air Force Reserve Command we are rock stars, whether we are here tonight or not. We are here to celebrate the successes of our command. It was a phenomenal celebration. We are all winners. It's a win-win. Every nominee is a winner. Everyone who suits up is a winner. The folks who walked away with the trophies are the true tip of the spear. It is an honor to be in their presence and they are going to go on and do some great things."