By Chrystal Smith (USAG Wiesbaden)June 20, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany - Acts of heroism, charity and cooperation by Department of Defense employees were recognized with high honors during Hessentag.
Anne Adams, Heather Goodwin, Sgt Ferdinand Hounlekpo and Jeffery Mack were recognized June 9 as a part of the state fair -- this year held in Wetzlar.
Hessen Minister President Volker Bouffier presented Goodwin, Hounlekpo and Mack with the Minister President's Hessentag Award. Adams and Goodwin were honored with the Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr, the Cross of Honor of the German Army.
Hounlekpo, 5th Signal Command Public Affairs Office multimedia specialist, was recognized for using his Soldier training to save the life of an elderly woman suffering severe blood loss. According to the award nomination, he was on the way to visit a friend when he encountered an elderly woman in serious need of medical attention because the main artery in her leg had been severed.
"This was a normal thing I needed to do. That blood was really flowing out," said Hounlekpo who credited his combat lifesaver training for knowing what to do. "I saw her as my own grandmother. So I grabbed her and moved her out of the pool of blood. She was really shaken. I just used my combat lifesaving techniques."
He alerted his wife to have their friend call emergency services and took the vital actions to stop the bleeding; eventually applying a tourniquet to stabilize her condition until emergency responders arrived. It was noted that his actions saved the woman's life, and she currently lives in Mainz.
And while he said he is grateful at being honored, he is most thankful that his responsive actions prevented the loss of life. "My reward is knowing that she is alive and well," he said, adding, "I probably would have freaked out, but the combat lifesaving practice paid off. I was prepared; thanks to the military for that."
The spotlight was shined on Mack, 5th Signal Command Operations, for consistent charitable behavior in various communities in Germany. It was stated in the award nomination that he was active in Wiesbaden and other cities as a volunteer, supported the Women's Federation and implemented a Christmas program for orphans. Mack additionally was noted for his performance of good deeds in feeding the homeless, coordinating a scholarship fund and collecting and distributing food and toys to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Goodwin received recognition for extraordinary achievements in her role as government relations officer for the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. She was acknowledged for advisory and liaison activities performed to ensure proper relationships between garrison and Hessen state officials flourished and remained, ensuring positive interaction occurred between key support agencies to include the Hessen Police District West Hesse and the Regierungspraesidium in Darmstadt.
According to the award nomination, she "exceeded all expectations for the expansion and improvement of positive relations with German government agencies."
German Armed Forces support
Noteworthy also is her work in deepening relationships with members of the German Armed Forces. As the primary liaison, she ensured that the German Army state commander was included in all U.S. military celebrations, such as Veterans Day or Memorial Day. She also assisted in the coordination of training events and facilitated VIP visits; contributing significantly to the great military cooperation between the United States and Germany.
"I was completely surprised," said Goodwin. "Working with the German Bundeswehr has been one of the great privileges of the job, and I'm grateful for their friendship and their friendship to the U.S. Army."
Adams, who has worked with the U.S. Forces Liaison Office for the State of Hessen and Thuringia since 2001, was honored by the Bundeswehr for exceptional work accomplished in maintaining relations between U.S. Army Europe and the State of Hessen. She was especially recognized for providing outstanding support in keeping officials informed and about matters regarding USAREUR's transformation.
"I'm honored that the Landeskommando Hessen considered the work I do at the U.S. Forces Liaison Office Hessen worthy of this prestigious award," said Adams, who added that it is a privilege to work with German military counterparts.