An aircraft hanger of the 171st Air Refueling Wing, PAARNG, located next to the Pittsburgh International Airport, served as the venue for the 2nd Armed Forces Ball held on Friday evening, November 11. The event was orchestrated by Carlos Carmona-Torres, president of the Fort Pitt Chapter, in coordination with Dr. Rory Cooper, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, and former Pittsburgh Steelers and Vietnam veteran, Mr. Rocky Bleier.
Over 325 veterans and their guests from all branches of the armed forces were invited to enjoy the evening fun, camaraderie, and recognition. Guests represented, Active, Guard, and Reserve forces. Personnel from 316th ESC, 2/28th IBCT, 1-110th Inf, 171st ARW, 911th Reserve AW, Naval Recruiting Pittsburgh, Naval Operational and Support Center, and PA National Guard were in attendance.
Joining the veterans were corporations who provide outstanding support to the Pittsburgh area veterans community. The title sponsor was BNY Mellon Bank, while Allegheny Technology Industries (ATI) sponsored the reception, FEDEX Ground and the University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering and Research Laboratory (HERL) also provided support.
The Armed Forces Ball is a way for AUSA to acknowledge veterans, their families, and area corporations’ support of veterans. Click here to view photos of the evening’s event. The ceremony was opened by a joint service color guard was provided by the University of Pittsburg’s Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC cadets.
Serving as this year’s master of ceremonies was former US Marine, Mr. John Banazak. Former Pittsburgh Steeler and three–time Super Bowl champion, Mr. Banazak currently coaches the Robert Morris University football team.
The evening provided an opportunity for attendees to participate in a silent auction for a myriad of items. The proceeds were donated to the Canonsburg Police Department. Highlighting the event was the award of the annual chapter’s distinguished service recognition for corporate and individual support of veterans in Western PA.
The 2016 Corporate Warrior Leader Award was presented to Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI). Accepting the engraved mounted Army officer’s saber and scabbard were ATI senior executives, Mr. Rich Hartman and Mr. John Simms.
The GEN John Forbes Distinguished Service Award, composed of a replica Native American tomahawk, was presented to BG (ret) Peter R. Phillipy, PaANG, and former commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing. Medical conditions prevented him from attending but the award was accepted on his behalf by BG (Ret) William Boardley, PaANG.