HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Air Force officials recently announced the winners of the 2019 Air Force Honor Guard Awards, and a Hanscom member took a top honor.
The annual awards program recognizes enlisted Air Force personnel for outstanding professional performance of military funeral honors and ceremonies while assigned to the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard or base honor guard programs.
Tech. Sgt. Meldion Shehu, 66th Force Support Squadron ceremonial guardsman, was named the Base Honor Guard Member of the Year.
“An Airman must demonstrate all core values to win an Air Force-level award, but the one that stands out most about Shehu is ‘excellence in all we do,’” said 1st Lt. Greg Barrow, officer in charge of the Patriot Honor Guard here. “He is a pillar of integrity and the ‘service before self’ mentality, and his commitment to personal and team excellence has led to remarkable accomplishments for himself and the entire unit.”
The Patriot Honor Guard provides military funeral honors throughout New England and New York for active duty Airmen, retired members, and veterans who served in the U.S. Air Force. The guardsmen conduct nearly 2,500 details each year.
“A common thread connecting us all is a reverence for the mission,” said Barrow. “We all have different strengths and styles, but we all appreciate the absolute importance of honoring our nation’s fallen heroes. The entire team is willing to go the extra mile to do just that.”
Shehu said he was humbled to receive what he called a once-in-a-career achievement.
“When I found out I had won at the Air Force-level, I was surprised and humbled,” said Shehu.
Barrow said the win came as no surprise to the rest of the team, and he’s proud to serve alongside him.
“When the time came to pick our member of the year, the choice was easy,” he said. “Troops like Sgt. Shehu don’t come around often, so he’s more than deserving of this accolade and all others he receives.”
Shehu and other winners are slated to be recognized during the Air Force Association’s Professional Airman’s Virtual Conference in August.