Fast Rope Holiday Gathering, Food, Fellowship, Networking and Three Purple Heart Recipients
- Food and Drinks
- Segue Offices: 2300 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA (First Floor of the Navy League Building)
- No Dial in
- Air Force Small Business Office Invited
- Air Force SMSgt Kevin Wallace (Purple Heart)
- Air Force Sgt Adam McLeod (Purple Heart)
- Army Sergeant Matthew Pennington (Purple Heart)
Air Force MSG Adam McLeod (Ret)
(Purple Heart Recipient) Adam McLeod served nearly 18 years in the US Air Force. His first 12 ½ years he served as a Security Police/Forces and a K-9 handler. He was honorably retired in 2010 as an E-7, Air Force Master Sergeant. He has deployed 10 times, two of which were combat deployments while in uniform. His final deployment was to Afghanistan as an advisor to Regional Command West (RCW) forces on improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Adam was assigned to Camp Bastion/Leatherneck supporting US Marine Corps tactical units as well as other units assigned to and/or transient through the base. His awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service, Purple Heart and Air Force Commendation medals. Adam has been married to his wife Jennifer for 20 years. She is also former Air Force, trained as a medic. She spent over seven years in the service until they decided she should get out to raise their children. She was honorably separated as an E-5, Air Force Staff Sergeant. They have four boys ages 18, 16, 14 and 12. In 2007, Adam selected a voluntary deployment to Camp Fallujah, Fallujah, Iraq as an analyst assigned to a US Marine Corps explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) detachment. He was tasked to conduct tactical exploitation and forensic analysis of IEDs. He used his analysis to identify IED cells in the area, suggest countermeasures to tactical units and provide information to direct action units. It was during this deployment where an already aggravated back condition deteriorated into his second back surgery in 2008. He lost a significant amount of hearing, no doubt due to IED blasts. Following the deployment, he was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and ultimately medically boarded out of the Air Force three days prior to his 18th year military anniversary. Since his retirement, he has continued to serve US Forces in a variety of positions, most recently as a sub-contractor assigned to an intelligence unit supporting operations globally.
Air Force SMSgt Kevin Wallace
(Purple Heart Recipient) SMSgt Kevin Wallace is the chief of Public Affairs at the 89th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. SMSgt Wallace is responsible for providing guidance and counsel to the 89th AW commander, Presidential Airlift Group commander, subordinate commanders and wing staff. He coordinates and communicates all media responses to the president, vice president, cabinet members, combatant commanders, and other senior military and elected leaders as tasked by the White House, Air Force chief of staff and Air Mobility Command. Additionally, he develops and synchronizes communication tactics to gain informed public support of 89th mission, operations and roles. SMSgt Wallace entered the Air Force in September 1997 and his background includes various duties in EC-135, E-3, F-15, F-16, C-130, C-141, KC-10 and F-18 aircraft maintenance. He retrained into PA in January 2007, and has led hundreds of enlisted PAs during four assignments and multiple deployments. He served an extended overseas tour in Okinawa, an overseas tour in the U.K., and multiple deployments, including two combat tours in Afghanistan. SMSgt Wallace is a warfighter, and was recognized by the Air Force Chief of Staff in his 2012 Portraits in Courage. He also garnered the U.S. Air Forces Europe Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs award, the Idaho Red Cross Hero of the Year award, the Daryl G. Winters Combat Camera award, and his combat images garnered top honors by the Department of Defense, FOX News and Maxim Magazine. After one brutal combat engagement in Afghanistan, his Platoon Leader recalled “Wallace immediately returned fire, augmenting between camera and rifle, firing 119 rounds and 190 photos.” After SMSgt Wallace and four others were hit with a rocket-propelled grenade, the Platoon Leader recalled, “Wallace continued to fire his weapon and to call out enemy positions even after being thrown against a wall, knocked unconscious and receiving burns to his neck. When I called for status south of our fighting position, disregarding his own life and personal safety, Wallace willingly exposed himself to hails of heavy PKM (heavy machine gun) fire three times to verify no insurgents were flanking the south, allowing elements to maneuver south to the CasEvac site without a single soldier being killed. Some of SMSgt Wallace’s major awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, multiple Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Army Combat Action Badge, Army Valorous Unit Award, and multiple Air Force Recognition Ribbons. He has also won dozens of Air Force and Major Command level awards and was recognized by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom with the Exceptional Community Relations award for his work with Prince Harry for American and British Wounded Warriors in the UK. He remains active in community service, and mentors and participates in many Air Force Wounded Warrior Program events, as well as Wounded Warrior Project, Boy Scouts of America, and Lutheran Church events in Northern Virginia.
Army SGT Matthew Pennington (Ret)
(Purple Heart Recipient) Raised in both Maine and Texas, Matthew Pennington entered into military service at the age of seventeen; he had a robust career full of responsibility and leadership roles. Then at the age of twenty three he was struck down by an ambush IED team in Iraq. Losing his left leg and receiving severe damage to his right he was honorably retired and received the Purple Heart and the state of Maine Silver Star among various others. Matthew has starred in a short film “A Marines Guide to Fishing”. It is story that portrays an injured veteran’s transition back into the work place as well as coping with his loss one year later on his alive day. Prior to acting, Matthew gave a speech for veteran’s day in the town of La Plata, Maryland as well as campaign videos for Senator Susan Collins. He has served on a panel for Secretary of Defense Gates at Walter Reed and received many of other types of recognition for his service to America. Matthew has worked alongside director Nick Brennan and Marjorie Pennington to perform screenings of “Marines Guide to Fishing” to raise donations for charitable organizations serving veteran’s. It was creating these environments of entertainment and education that led him to further his speaking career as a Keynote Speaker for the Brain Injury Alliance, Joining Forces, various Military-Civilian conferences and Universities. Matthew has built a program that was endorsed by Congressman Mike Michaud and it has been replicated by the Vet Center’s located within Maine and has been reported to have great success. Currently Matthew is a part-time National Spokesman/Field Associate for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, it is a job he believes in and also one that allows him to witness and hear about the positive impact made in the lives of the combat wounded. Matthew has been married to his wife Marjorie Pennington for 12 years and looks forward to a life full of giving to and assisting those in need.