We are very excited to announce that NINETEEN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM MEDALS have now been awarded to our fallen CivPol/IPA officers.
After nearly five years of lobbying, phone calling, and working our way through the government bureaucracy maze, we successfully obtained the necessary documents and partnered with the Department of Defense (DOD) to get these 19 DFM's awarded. This was a huge effort by CAA's President Mark Lewis, Vice President Peter Tragni and Executive Assistant Susan Brune.
One of our contacts in Washington, DC, Senator Ron Wyden(OR) expressed interest in helping us. It was his involvement, and that of other Senators that motivated DOD to work with us. This success began with the award of the DFM to Debbie Klecker. Then we submitted documents for the next eighteen awards which eventually led to a large ceremony held by DynCorp this past February to honor their CivPol / IPA officers killed in the line of duty.
The nineteenth medal was awarded in March at a ceremony in Phoenix, AZ held by PAE to honor Corrections Officer Santa Gracia Ramirez.
" Today we remember Santa as a patriot, called to serve her country and defend the rights and freedoms that we enjoy and others deserve," said PAE CEO Michael Dignam. Commanding General of the Arizona National Guard Major General Salazar presented the award to Ramirez's daughter, Soria Prokopich.
CAA Executive Assistant Susan
Brune and Soriah Prokopich stand together after Soriah receives the DFM for her mother Santa Gracia Ramirez.
Lt. Gen. Phillips presents the DFM to Ra Lt.Gen. Phillips presents the DFM to Ranger Studie, Grandson of Mike Dawes. Mike was killed in Iraq by a suicide bomber in 2005.Lt. Gen. Phillips presents the DFM to Ranger Studie, Grandson of Mike Dawes.
thPresMarkLewis and our Admin Assistant Susan
Greg Klecker (Debbie's brother), Mark Lewis (CAA President) and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon stand together after Greg receives the DFM for his sister Debbie Klecker.