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USO Gala

Mr. David Jubinville, the USO Board President stands with Capt. Cahill as Col. Tillman (ret)  presents the award. (Photograph by USO photographer Mr. Tom Overlock)

Mr. David Jubinville, the USO Board President stands with Capt. Cahill as Col. Tillman (ret) presents the award. (Photograph by USO photographer Mr. Tom Overlock)

104th Fighter Wing, Westfield, Mass. -- While most of the 104th Fighter Wing members were attending last month's annual awards banquet, one member was across town and recognized for his outstanding accomplishments by the Pioneer Valley USO.

On the evening of April 6, 2013, at the annual Pioneer Valley USO Gala, a new member of the 104th, Capt. Sean Cahill from the Civil Engineering Squadron, was recognized for his service during his recent deployment to Afghanistan.

Capt. Cahill deployed in 2011-2012 where he served with the 212th Engineering Installation Squadron (EIS).

The 212 EIS was deployed for over six months to southern Afghanistan, supporting U.S and coalition forces in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

During this time Capt. Cahill was assigned to the U.S. Army 335th Signal Command, where he and his team helped to transition the tactical communications infrastructure on various U.S. Army forward operating bases into a more robust fixed communications architecture.

The USO Gala is a dinner-dance fundraising event where a select number of military honorees are recognized for excellence in service. On this evening one member each from the Air Force Reserves, Air National Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy were recognized.

The Gala, now an annual tradition, is one of the many ways the Pioneer Valley USO gives back to local service members. This year the USO has supported many events, to include the recent wing change of command, the enlisted appreciation night and the drill-weekend childcare program.

Besides the recognition paid to the military award winners, another high point of the night was a presentation by the keynote speaker U.S. Air Force Col. (retired) Mark Tillman. Tillman spoke of the eight years he spent as the lead pilot on Air Force One during the adminis-tration of President George W. Bush.