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Union Pacific employee honored at Sacramento Kings game

Monday, December 10th, 2012 | Posted by

Pedro Villa, an employee of Union Pacific who serves in the Air Force Reserve, was recognized as the recipient of a Purple Heart during halftime of the Sacramento Kings’ basketball game at Military Appreciation Night, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

Master Sergeant Villa is the son of Pedro Villa of Cloverdale and Katherine Villa of Geyserville.

Villa, an electrical superintendent assigned to the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron at Beale Air Force Base,Calif., was wounded during a mortar attack while deployed toAfghanistanearlier this year.

On May 5, 2012, Master Sergeant Villa and a crew of Air Force Civil Engineers attached to the 577th Expeditionary Prime Beef Group were just finishing up the work day. The team of 10 Active Duty, Guard and Reserve members was building a clamshell-type facility, a 200-foot by 78-foot by 31-foot metal truss covered with thick tarp for use by the Army at a remote deployed location inside Afghanistan.

Suddenly, the enemy launched the first mortar of the day, hitting the truss just overhead. A few team members were hit with shrapnel; one had to be MED-evaced out. Immediately after the initial explosion, Villa went to the bunker and administered first aid to the seriously wounded tech sergeant. Villa himself suffered a concussion and a minor shrapnel wound in the attack.

Master Sgt. Villa was presented with the Purple Heart by Colonel Kevin Cavanagh, commander of the 940th Wing, at an official ceremony on Beale Air Force Base.

The 940th Wing is the Air Force Reserve Command’s leading provider of command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and home to the RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. Nearly 1200 Reservists are assigned to the 940th Wing, with five geographically separated units at Joint Base Langley-Eustis inVirginia, March Air Reserve Base in southernCalifornia, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,Hawaii.

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Deborah Serval is our Geyserville correspondent.
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