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2022 Military Heroes

Cristian Martinez

Cristian Martinez

Nominated by the U.S. Air Force

Master Sergeant Cristian R. Martinez is the Flight Chief, 99th Medical Group, 99th Medical Operations Squadron, Optometry flight, Nellis Air Force Base, North Dakota. He is responsible for the optometry operations servicing 53,000 wing beneficiaries all while supporting Creech AFB. Master Sergeant Martinez recently served as the Ophthalmic Air Force Global Strike Command Functional Manager where he supported 8 installations, coordinated training, certification, integration, mentoring, modernization and deployment for 32 personnel.  Additionally, he serves as the MAJCOM consultant to the AF career field manager. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Health Management and is board certified Para-optometric technician by American Optometric Association. His assignments include bases in California, Florida, Japan, North Dakota, and Nellis. He has supported 9 Humanitarian missions to Peru, Mexico, Alaska, Kingdom of Tonga, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  He has been married for 18 years and has three amazing children: Deonte 18, Jaylen 16 and Genesis 10.

Alan Deogracias

Alan Deogracias

Nominated by Merging Vets and Players

Lieutenant Colonel Alan J. Deogracias II (Retired) served 28 years in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer. He commanded at every level from platoon to battalion. He served three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). He is a father of two and a widower. Alan is currently enjoying his retirement life. 

Alan's previous assignments include Platoon Leader Company C, 5th Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, Logistics Officer Task Force 5-14 Infantry, Multinational Forces and Observers (MFO), Sinai, Egypt, Commander Company D, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, Infantry Training Brigade, Commander Headquarters, and Headquarters Company and Company A, 5th Ranger Training Battalion, Team Chief 1st Battalion, 3rd National Police Brigade Transition Team, Baghdad Iraq, Professor of Military Science, Northern Arizona University, Commander, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, and Commandant, Initial Military Training Leadership School.

Stephen Weiner

Stephen Weiner

Nominated by Kline Veterans Fund

Steve is a Vietnam era vet who served in the U.S. Army Reserves at Ft. Jackson, SC from 1964 to 1969. After completing his service with the rank of E5, he returned to his civilian job as an accountant in private industry. He joined the largest public accounting firm in Washington, D.C. after becoming a CPA, eventually starting his own firm in Maryland. Steve retired to Las Vegas in 2008 where he does volunteer tax preparation for AARP-Tax Aide. 

Steve has served on the Board of Directors of Kline Veterans Fund since 2015; his current role is Secretary, Executive Committee. He is passionate about serving our community's most vulnerable veterans with dignity and respect, volunteering hundreds of hours each year to ensure every veteran has a place to call home.

Leonard Garcia

Leonard Garcia

Nominated by Merging Vets and Players

Leo Garcia is a veteran of the United States Air Force and Desert Shield / Desert Storm. Leo spent his whole career stationed at Nellis Air Force Base (Las Vegas), Nevada from 1986 through 1994. He was a Sergeant at the 57 Fighter Weapon Wing. During this period, Leo was deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Gulf War 1990) in which he was augmented in multiple roles in the city of Jeddah and Riyadh.  

Leo grew up in the Midwest in the city of Hammond, Indiana. He has been a resident of Southern Nevada since 1986 and currently lives in Boulder City, Nevada with his wife Elsie (LC). He has two daughters who understand the life of being a military brat. Leo comes from a military family background. His father-in-law was a retired USAF Veteran and a Veteran of WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He also has a step-son who is a US Army Veteran / Iraq War Veteran. 

Leo's current role is the Nevada Strategic Director for Concerned Veterans for America, and has been with the organization since 2013. He is an advocate for military and veteran issues. Leo helped create a grassroot army locally and nationally with his colleagues from across the nation to help pass into law the "VA Accountability Act" along with the 'Whistleblower Protection Act" in 2017. Leo was personally invited to the White House for the signing of the bill. He also contributed with his team of volunteers to get the "VA Mission Act" passed into law in 2018.

Hanna Wingett

Hanna Wingett

Nominated by Creech Air Force Base

SSgt Wingett entered the USAF in 2018, and was selected to attend technical training to become an All-Source Intelligence Analyst at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas.  She arrived at her first duty station, Creech AFB, in Jan of 2019, and had an immediate impact supporting the warfighter with her sharp intelligence analysis and briefing in both conventional and non-conventional operations.  She is currently the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Intelligence flight of the 22d Attack Squadron.

Bruno Moya

Bruno Moya

Nominated by the Southern Nevada Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Bruno is a USMC veteran and program coordinator of the Las Vegas chapter of the Merging Vets and Players Program. Bruno is an amazing individual who selflessly serves combat veterans in the community with peer support programs, strong support networks, and empathic support to others.

Dominic Cirino

Dominic Cirino

Nominated by the Nevada Paralyzed Veterans of America

Dominic was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and enlisted in the Air Force in June 1967.  He was a Morse Intercept Operator and cross-trained as a Cryptographer. He graduated from the University of Michigan and was a Regional Manager for a Computer Company. Dominic was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1971.

Greg Arnold

Greg Arnold

Nominated by USO Nevada

Technical Sergeant Gregory W. Arnold is originally from Denton, Texas, and also grew up in Bedford, Indiana. During his early years he was very into sports, playing both football and baseball. When he was not doing school or playing sports, he was busy working on the family's ranch with horses and cattle, or helping out with his dad's construction company.  

One of the reasons Gregory joined the military was because of his love of travel and learning about new cultures. Some of his other passions are hunting, ATV'ing, camping, and working on side projects. The thing he loves most is spending time with his family and planning their next adventure.

Thomas Waters

Thomas Waters

Nominated by MOPH Chapter 730

After being honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant (E-6) in 1968, Colonel Waters returned to Chicago and joined the Illinois Air National Guard where he was selected for a promotion to Master Sergeant (E-7) while attending Olive-Harvey Community College. In 1971, he transferred to the Air Force ROTC program at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation with his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in May 1973.  He returned to active duty in August 1973.   

Colonel Waters served in several Air Force assignments as an aircraft maintenance officer in positions of Flightline OIC, propulsion OIC, maintenance supervisor, acting Field Maintenance Squadron commander and Chief -Maintenance Management branch (73-78). His next assignment was as an Associate Professor of Aero Space Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology while also serving as the Illinois State Admissions Counselor for the Air Force Academy and Air Force ROTC (78-82). He was then transferred to Headquarters Air Training Command on the Logistics staff as Assistant Chief of the Quality Assurance Branch at Randolph AFB, Texas (82-85) before being assigned to the 3785th Field Training Wing at Sheppard AFB, Texas as the Resource Division Chief (85-87). His next assignment was to the Philippines and Clark Air Base where he was the Component Repair Squadron Commander, Chief of the Maintenance Operations Division, and Assistant Deputy Commander for Maintenance (87-90). He returned to Headquarters Air Training Command, this time to the Technical Training staff, as the Chief of the Combat Support Training Division (91-92).  Returning to the Pacific, his assignment was with Headquarters 13th Air Force as the Logistics Readiness Flight Commander (Deputy LG) at Andersen AFB, Guam (92-95).  His last active-duty assignment was with the Air National Guard Readiness Center (ANGRC) as the AMC Team Chief where he managed the C-5, C-17, C-141, and KC-135 aircraft (95-97).  He retired from active duty on 1 August 1997 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel with over 32 years of active-duty service.

William Burns

William Burns

Nominated by Nevada Paralyzed Veterans of America

William is a lifetime member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America since his initial rehabilitation in Memphis, Tennessee. He served in the United States Army from 1977 until his permanent medical retirement in 1990. While in the Army he held several positions. During his first enlistment, he served as an Armor Crewman 19F20, and held all four positions as an Armor Crewman. After a short break in service, William reenlisted as an Infantryman. He served as an M60 gunner, rifleman, team leader, and squad leader. He also served as a basic training instructor at Fort Bliss, Texas. He attended several leadership courses as well in order to enhance his military skills. He also attained the rank of Staff Sergeant 11BH0H. His many assignments include Fort Knox Kentucky, Fort Riley Kansas, Fort Benning Georgia, Cooke Barracks in Germany, Fort Bliss Texas, and Schofield Barracks Hawaii, and several overseas deployments. His last assignment was with the 25 Infantry Division in Hawaii. While deployed to Australia, he suffered a T-11 complete spinal cord injury while on maneuvers. After being stabilized in Australia and Hawaii, he was transferred to the Spinal Cord Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Upon his completion of rehabilitation, he was sent home to Huntsville, Alabama to await his medical retirement.

Moses Roberts

Moses Roberts

Nominated by the U.S. Air Force

Technical Sergeant Moses M. Roberts is the Operations Support Non-Commissioned officer for the 99th Security Forces Squadron, Air Combat Command, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where he is responsible for resource security coordination of all Large Force Exercises and flight activities. His background includes various duties and assignment locations, including internal security response team at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Base Defense Operations Controller, and Police Services NCO at the nuclear Headquarters Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Ivanna Montejano

Ivanna Montejano

Nominated by Creech Air Force Base

TSgt Ivanna J. Montejano is currently assigned as the Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of Squadron Administration for the 432d Security Forces Squadron, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. She provides guidance, coordination, and manages tasks that directly support the Commander, Senior Enlisted Leaders, and the unit.  Her responsibilities and focus include Office Management, Human Resources, Executive Support, Commander's Programs, and Postal and Official Mail duties.  

Sergeant Montejano has deployed to Qatar and Kuwait in her career in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM'S SENTINEL and The Resolute Support Mission.

Timothy Summit

Timothy Summit

Nominated by Creech Air Force Base

SSgt Timothy Summit is currently the Wing Executive for the Command Chief and was recently selected for Officer Training School. As the Command Chief's Executive, he assists in leading, managing, and caring for their members by assisting the execution of the Chief's objectives.  

SSgt Summit has grown from an intelligence analyst supporting multiple MQ-9 combat operations in disparate Areas of Operations, to his team's Intelligence Operations Supervisor, and later to instructing at the MQ-9 Initial Intelligence Qualification Course. During this time, his dedicated efforts led to receiving a Senior Airman BTZ promotion, and earning the Distinguished Graduate Award at ALS. Due to a pattern of excellence in every position he has held, he was selected to serve as the Junior Executive of his previous Squadron where he helped drive the Squadron Commander's vision and objectives. Additionally, he was the President of the Samurai Booster Club and had led 13 morale and fundraising events for 201 active-duty members and their families.  

Beyond the Air Force, he is pursuing higher education which includes a Master's Degree in International Relations and Conflict Resolution, as well as a private pilot's license.

Ariel Miranda

Ariel Miranda

Nominated by USO Nevada

Senior Airman Ariel L. Miranda is an Integrated Avionics Systems Journeyman assigned to the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. She is responsible for maintaining avionics systems on the 57th Wing's most diverse fleet of F-16s. 

In 2011, Senior Airman Miranda joined the United States Marine Core where she served at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar as an Aircraft Avionics Technician. She transferred to the United States Air Force in 2019, where she was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base.

Len Yelinek

Len Yelinek

Nominated by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for the State of Nevada

Len served in the U.S. Navy's Rier Patrol Force (Task Force 116) in Vietnam's Mekong Delta 1968-1970 as the Public Affairs Officer. He was wounded when ambushed by the Viet Cong while on a mission near the Cambodian Border and spent two months in a US Navy Hospital in Japan before returning to Vietnam. After leaving the Navy, Len was employed by Del Webb's Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas as the Associate Public Relations Director. He later worked as the Director of Advertising and Entertainment for Del Webb's Thunderbird Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and Del Webb's Kuilima Hotel and Country Club in Oahu, Hawaii.

Len is the Founder of, the Escape Travel & Cruise Company in Southern Nevada, and worked as the Manager for 25 years. Prior to retirement, he was a Manager and Certified Financial Planner with General Electric Financial and MassMutual Insurance.

John Heintzelman

John Heintzelman

Nominated by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for the State of Nevada

John is a decorated veteran of the United States Army with a strong track record of success delivering the key leadership, strategies, and insights to take operational performance to new levels of success. He excels at building, training, and optimizing the productivity of large operational teams that continually exceed expectations. He is passionate about creating strong work environments that promote professional development, employee engagement, and innovation as the core components to achieve sustained success. He is also adept at partnering with stakeholders across all levels to build consensus for unified approaches to achieve ambitious organizational goals. 

John has been a Technical Editor and Graphic Illustrator for the United States Air Force at the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada since 2019. There he works as a key member of a team that documents and updates integral manuals for all operations, equipment and programs for the United States Air Force. He previously worked as a Support Services Program Manager for US Vets from 2015-2019. There he acted as the driving force behind all operations and programs for the United States Veterans Initiative, continually servicing the needs of homeless and at-risk veterans by securing employment, housing, federal & state-directed funds, and qualifying program entitlements.  

John has his Ph.D. in General Psychology, his Master's Degree in Psychology, and his Bachelor's Degree in Visual Communication.