Tuskegee Airman of the Week: July 19-25
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Staff Sgt. Timothy Raso, of the 22nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, is the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing's Tuskegee Airman of the Week for July 19-25.
"Sergeant Raso represents the kind of enlisted personnel who make our Air Force great," said Brig. Gen. Craig Franklin, 332nd AEW commander, who presented Raso with the award and a commander's coin during a ceremony at the wing headquarters July 31.
Raso, a Stockton, Calif., native, spearheaded the merger of four clinics into one. This consolidation enabled around-the-clock medical availability for Joint Base Balad's Expeditionary Operations Group.
"I saw this project as an opportunity to set up my other Airmen for success," he said. "Being deployed allows you to be able to get involved in the community here. I am trying to be a good example for younger Airmen. While I don't do these things for an award, it's nice to be recognized."
On his second deployment here, Raso, who is currently working towards his bachelor's degree in health care management, completed combat medic advanced skills training at the Joint Medical Readiness Training Center. The independent medical technician also volunteered 48 hours at the Air Force Theater Hospital.
Overall, Raso attributes his success to a winning attitude.
"I believe in taking control of your career," said the husband and father of a seven-month-old daughter. "I try to wake up every day motivated and smile at adversity, looking at it as a challenge."
Lt. Col. Douglas Nikolai, 22nd EFS commander and Raso's supervisor, said the sergeant's "can-do" attitude and initiative make him stand out among his peers.
"During the flight medicine consolidation," said Nikolai. "He led the charge and got things done when others were waiting to be told what to do."
The 332nd AEW Tuskegee Airman of the Week is open to Airmen between the ranks of E-1 and E-5, and is selected based on an Airman's on- and off-duty accomplishments.