Leo, nominated by his wife Tana:
28 years goes by fast. Just ask my husband, Leo. The son of two immigrants, who later became citizens. One by serving in the Navy for 22 years and the other via naturalization.He spent his entire youth in service of this Great Nation, 10 years as a Navy "brat" and 28 as an active duty Soldier. He spent those 28 years doing what he loved...taking care of Soldiers. As an Army wife and an Army "brat" myself I know a lot of the sacrifices Soldiers make but not all...28 years of field exercises, gunneries, musters, red cycles, waking up at 0500 everyday and going to bed 0100, phone calls at 0300 were never for good things, incident review boards, doing physical training, writing reports, mentoring, disciplining and training Soldiers, patrols along Berlin Wall, enduring the unbearable hot of the Middle East and the terrible cold of Germany during the height of the Cold War, sleeping on the backs of tanks and never sleeping more than 5 hours at a time, schooling, moving, deadlines, briefings, working 20 hour days for a month during the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, all the while trying to balance home and family.
He has sacrificed his youth, his "free" time, his family, his hobbies, his sleep, his back, his knees, his peace of mind and heart. He was always gone doing something so we've only been blessed with one child. He has given so much of himself to so many for so long and never asked for himself. He started his work before the sun came up and it continued most nights after most people went to bed. He was always fond of saying that Soldiers don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
He would regularly call or write the parents of many Soldiers to tell them the good things their sons or daughters did. Our world rotated around how we could better care for the Soldiers in the unit. He never complained when I would go out and buy candy, popsicles, or baked hundreds cookies for the Soldiers because they more than deserved what little we could give.
He's a humble man, and I know it would bother him that I nominated him for this because he believes that there's someone else out there who needs this more than he does or deserves it more than he does. He been described by other Soldiers as calm, patient, down to earth, and the highly valued virtue of "having common sense". He truly exemplifies the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. In his last line unit the division's motto was "Steadfast and Loyal". Those two resonate deeply with anyone who knows my husband.
He's given 28 years of his life to the Army and the Nation, I know that he'd do it all over again if they'd let him. The picture is of my husband administering the oath of office to a brand new 2LT.
For more information on nominating a hero you know, go HERE.