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News > Tampa MOAA establishes Joseph D. Helton award
2007 Academy graduate killed in action in Iraq
First Lt. Joseph D. Helton Jr., 24, was killed by a roadside bomb near Baghdad Sept. 8, 2009. He was a 2007 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and was deployed to the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron from MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Tampa MOAA establishes Joseph D. Helton award

Posted 7/14/2010   Updated 7/14/2010 Email story   Print story


7/14/2010 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Tampa Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America has established an award named after a 2007 Academy graduate who was killed in Iraq Sept. 8, 2009, the MOAA announced July 8.

The Joseph D. Helton Jr. Award will honor individuals assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., who have rendered outstanding assistance to the MOAA Tampa chapter, according to an MOAA press release.

"The award will be presented periodically to individuals who assist the chapter with the same outgiving spirit of professionalism, cooperation and innate efficiency that were the exceptional traits of Lieutenant Helton," retired Maj. John Massey of the Tampa MOAA chapter wrote.

The first award was presented to Lieutenant Helton posthumously during a ceremony July 8, according to the release. Lieutenant Helton's mother, Jennifer Helton, and his two sisters, Jeanne McManus and Jessica Helton, accepted the award on behalf of the lieutenant's family.

Lieutenant Helton was assigned to MacDill AFB's 6th Security Forces Squadron and later deployed to Iraq, where he served as commander for the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Det. 2. He died from wounds suffered during a roadside bomb explosion and enemy attack near Baghdad. The Air Force posthumously awarded him with a Bronze Star Medal with Valor and a Purple Heart. Lieutenant Helton was the first commissioned officer in the security forces career field to give his life in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

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