2009 airforce Times
Honorable Mentions

Capt James Parris

Parris has participated in Habitat for Humanity and volunteered as a YMCA soccer coach.

Parris volunteered to serve a tour of duty in Gardez, Af­ghan­istan, in 2008. His flight commander, Lt. Col. Mark A. Antonacci, said Parris' performance throughout the mission was "incredible."

"Many of these significant tasks did not fall within the typical job description for an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant," Antonacci said in nominating Parris for Air Force Times' Airman of the Year. "Capt. Parris has had a huge impact on his deployed unit and the host nation."

Parris is about to return from deployment to Afghanistan with the Provincial Reconstruction Team. In addition to providing medical care for service members and local civilians, he arranged staff and medical supplies for clinics, and contributed suggestions for the construction of $7.5 million hospital and a $4 million midwife training facility. He also participated in "Strong Foods," a program designed to improve nutrition in Afghan children.

A jack of all trades, Parris also is an Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor, a Counter-Insurgency Effects Group member and a Battalion Aid Station Medical Liaison.
At home, Parris is involved in community service at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Tech Sgt. Lee Brewer

Originally from Greenwood Springs, Miss.

Every day, Tech. Sgt. Lee A. Brewer teaches medical personnel how to treat service members injured in war. Fellow instructor Master Sgt. Orville Goff said Brewer lives by "Nobody left behind" in his classroom.

"I have seen Tech. Sgt. Brewer on numerous occasions work with individuals who just could not understand the course," Goff said in nominating Brewer for Air Force Times' Service Member of the Year. "He was patient and understanding and refused to give up on the individual."

Brewer put his own teaching to practice while deployed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. He saved an injured soldier's life by inserting a chest tube to re-inflate his lung. He also performed an emergency intubation on an Afghan soldier suffering from traumatic injury from a bomb blast and gunshots.

Brewer's former supervisor, retired Master Sgt. John G. Melnick, said Brewer's experience as a former Army combat medic made him a great asset to the Air Force. He says many lives have been saved because of Brewer's "dedication to duty, service before self, attitude and outstanding medical skills."