By Mimi Jansen
TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber presented the 35th annual John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to Staff Sergeant Jason Truskowski, 62nd AW, McChord Field, JBLM, Thursday.
SSgt. Jason Truskowski has more than nine years’ service in the U.S. Air Force and has been stationed at JBLM for more than three of those years. His current duty is noncommissioned officer in charge of media relations and social media for the 2,300 men and women assigned to McChord Field.
SSgt.Truskowski is an excellent selectee for this award due to his commitment for caring for others, regardless of how many hours he has to work. He goes above and beyond to volunteer his time both on and off base and sets the example for his peers each and every day.
As a qualified Washington Start First Responder and Wild-Land Fire Fighter, SSgt.Truskowski has responded to more than 35 emergencies and volunteered more than 450 hours at the Bald Hills Fire Department in Yelm. While responding to these 35 emergencies, his direct actions have aided in the successful savings of numerous lives. In addition, SSgt.Truskowski volunteered numerous hours to the Bald Hills Fire Department for their annual “Hunters Breakfast” event on the 2013 Hunting Season’s Opening Day.
Recognizing Special Olympics participants is important to SSgt.Truskowski, who, for the past three years has helped with the set-up and tear-down as well as security for the Special Olympics Victory Dance, an event that has more than 2,700 participants each year.
SSgt.Truskowski’s “call to duty” extends beyond firefighting and Special Olympics. He recently assisted a local church wherein his actions contributed to the church’s establishment of weekend services to more than 500 residents.
Although SSgt. Truskowski’s own children are home schooled, he has assisted local educational programs. He has taught art projects to toddlers at a Yelm home school group lesson at the Crossroads Community Church and recently helped prepare and serve lunch to over a hundred family members during the Eagle View Christian School Grandparents Day event
As an avid and experienced hiker, SSgt.Truskowski was called upon to plan and lead a Yelm mothers’ group hiking trip for 18 mothers and their children at Mount Rainier. He organized and led the event, which aimed to strengthen the parent-child bond while highlighting the importance of physical fitness to the younger generation.
SSgt.Truskowski’s volunteering includes JBLM as well. He played a major role in the Josh Fueston Memorial, a 4-mile relay swim promoting awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder. And he has unloaded more than 50,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies at the McChord Field Shali Center in preparation for response efforts after global natural disasters.
An accredited Instructor for the R.A.D. System basic self-defense course, held on McChord Field, SSgt. Truskowski is also a Sexual Assault Response & Prevention (SARP) victim advocate for the U.S. Air Force. Being a SARP victim advocate can involve a wide variety of efforts—from outlining options, to following a victim all the way through the court case. A true commitment that follows him even during his relocations, SSgt.Truskowski’s role as a SARP victim advocate is one of continued dedication.