Saturday, September 14, 2013

Star Of Texas Awards 2013

Gov. Perry Presents Star of Texas Awards To First Responders and Families
Photo courtesy of The Office of the Governor of Texas, Public Domain
More photos from the ceremony available at this link.

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 The Star of Texas Award was presented to first responders, or their family members, for service above and beyond the call of duty, usually sustaining serious injuries or sacrificing their lives in the process.

The award was created in 2003. In 2007, legislation expanded the scope to include federal agents who distinguished themselves with similar acts of bravery and valor.

This years recipients:

Michael E. McLelland, Kaufman County District Attorney
Cynthia McLelland

Terry J. Taylor, Bellaire Police Department
Jimmy R. Matus, West Volunteer Fire Department
William R. Uptmor Jr, West Volunteer Fire Department

Mark A. Mirelez, Robstown EMS

Jerry D. Chapman, Abbott Volunteer Fire Department
Kevin Sanders, Bruceville-Eddy Volunteer Fire Department
Gregory W. Pickard, Bryan Fire Department
Frank E. Wallace, Bryan Fire Department
Cyrus A. Reed, Bynum and Elm Mott Volunteer Fire Departments
Kenneth "Lucky" Harris Jr, Dallas Fire-Rescue
Stanley A. Wilson, Dallas Fire-Rescue
Robert Bebee, Houston Fire Department
Robert Garner, Houston Fire Department
Matthew Renaud, Houston Fire Department
Anne Sullivan, Houston Fire Department
Jalen S. Smith, Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire Department
Perry W. Calvin, Navarro Mills Volunteer Fire Department
Larry Nelson, Val Verde Co. Rural Volunteer Fire Department
Morris W. Bridges Jr, West Volunteer Fire Department
Cody F. Dragoo, West Volunteer Fire Department
Joey F. Pustejovsky Jr, West Volunteer Fire Department
Douglas J. Snokhous, West Volunteer Fire Department
Robert Snokhous, West Volunteer Fire Department

Craig G. Story, Arlington Police Department
Bryan M. Hebert, Beaumont Police Department
Jimmie D. Norman, Bellaire Police Department
Brian D. Bachmann, Brazos County Constable Precinct 1
Angel D. Garcia, El Paso Police Department
Jonathan K. Molina, El Paso Police Department
Chad C. Key, Grayson County Sheriff's Office
Jaime J. Zapata, Homeland Security Investigations
Lance A. McLean, Hood County Sheriff's Office
Mark E. Hasse, Kaufman County District Attorney's Office
D. Robert-Martin Harvey, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office
Larry D. Candelari, Pasadena Police Department
Jesse T. Hamilton, Pasadena Police Department
Joshua S. Mitchell, Reagan County Sheriff's Office
Edrees Mukhtar, San Antonio Police Department
William J. Sprague, Texarkana Police Department
Joshua S. Williams, Waxahachie Police Department

Ricky D. Mantey Jr, Bryan Fire Department
Mitchel S. Moran, Bryan Fire Department
Cameron E. Veitch, Community Volunteer Fire Department
Johnnie J.D. Johnson, Corpus Christi Fire Department
William Dowling, Houston Fire Department
Anthony Livesay, Houston Fire Department
Foster Santos, Houston Fire Department
Robert Yarbrough, Houston Fire Department

Toby W. Douglass, Arlington Police Department
Kenneth C. Casaday, Austin Police Department
Mandi L. Novak, Austin Police Department
Jared S. Ralston, Austin Police Department
Patricia M. Valdez, Austin Police Department
Jose L. Esquivel, Bexar County Sheriff's Office
Justin C. Oehlke, College Station Police Department
Watt Carroll Jr, Dallas Police Department
Samuel B. Hussey, Dallas Police Department
Matthew J. Wagner, Dallas Police Department
Perry S. Kram, Fayette County Sheriff's Office
Josh R. Bell, Fort Worth Police Department
Chad W. Davis, Granbury Police Department
Roland E. Dahlin III, Harris County Constable Precinct 4
Leigh Ann Snyder, Longview Police Department
Hector Camarillo, Madisonville Police Department
James H. Boyd, Montague County Sheriff's Office
Michael R. Huffman, Pasadena Police Department
Troy W. Clark, Texas Department of Public Safety
Kent A. Coleman, Texas Department of Public Safety
David R. Cramer, Texas Department of Public Safety
Germaine C. Gaspard, Texas Department of Public Safety
Robert J. Sims, Texas Department of Public Safety
Arthur Senteno, Washington County Sheriff's Office
Governor Rick Perry was on hand to present the awards and make a few remarks. Among his words was an acknowledgement of how critical these first responders have been, recognizing the efforts that have taken place since the 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

"It's a privilege to be here with you for this year's Star of Texas Awards, among so many who have given so much in service to their fellow Texans.

"It's difficult to believe that more than 12 years have passed since the events of September 11, 2001.

"The wreckage of the planes has been cleaned away, the Pentagon has been rebuilt, and a new tower is rising above the New York skyline on the site where the Twin Towers once stood.

"It's been a time of healing, a time of rebuilding, and a time of rebirth.

"But the events of that day truly changed our nation.

"We better understand the dangers of global threats.

"We better understand the need to be prepared for any eventuality.
"And we better understand the extraordinary sacrifices made every day by our nation's first responders."
He continues by highlighting the work and sacrifices of Texas's First Responders:

"Texas' first responders know there is no such thing as 'routine'... Not in their jobs.

"As such, they demonstrate the kind of bravery we witnessed on Nine-Eleven each and every day they go to work.

"That certainly was the case in West this past [Spring], when fire broke out at a fertilizer business.

"Not only did the community's volunteer firefighters respond, so did paramedic trainees, and a Dallas chief who lived in the area.

"That certainly was the case as Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann arrived to serve an eviction notice in College Station, only to come under fire of the resident inside.

"Constable Bachmann was killed, and three other peace officers wounded in the shootout before the gunman could be brought down.

"And that was certainly the case near Hillcroft last May, when a five-alarm blaze at the Southwest Inn Motel claimed the lives of four firefighters, including probationary firefighter Anne Sullivan, who was working just her second fire.

"Anyone in this room knows, however, that this calling. This noble service carries with it a great element of danger.

"They understand that placing yourself in harm's way will sometimes carry a cost.

"These individuals we lost over the past year lived with that understanding, but it was part of living lives of meaning.

"They were part of a higher calling, and like the other honorees here with us today, they helped make Texas a safer, stronger and better place to live.
A transcription of Governor Perry's full remarks are available at the Governor's official web site.