The Town of Bellingham is proud to present our Service Men and Women bravely defending our country's freedom. We look forward to their safe return home, but for now we hope they know how much we all appreciate their many sacrifices. If you have a picture of a Bellingham resident you would like to share with the community, please email to Jim Hastings at Snopymike@aol.com
THE BELLINGHAM WAR MEMORIAL COMMITTEE
is looking for Servicemen and women from Bellingham. If your name is not on the Memorial for Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom please contact us. We are adding more names in May.
You have to be a resident of Bellingham and on active duty or be a member of the reserves or National Guard that has been called to active duty. Please contact a member of the committee ASAP.
To View the Slide Show of the Soldiers from Bellingham, Please Click Below
For a list of the Bellingham residents who have been serving their country in the Armed Forces since 9/11/2001
Master Sergeant, Joseph R. Deslauriers was born in Bellingham, Massachusetts, a small town southwest of Boston. He is the son of Joseph and Muriel Deslauriers, and brother to Celeste. Joe attended Bellingham Junior as well as Bellingham Senior High Schools where he lettered in football and baseball. He graduated from high school on June 6th, 1996 and was accepted to Framingham State College (Mass) where he continued to play football.
After attending Framingham State College for one year, Joe returned back to Bellingham and decided to join the United States Air Force. His desire was to serve his country and to travel and so he joined the Air Force on February 18, 1998. After graduating basic training Joe attended technical training at Eglin Air Force Base Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) phase one and then went on to phase two of training at Indian Head, Maryland. Upon graduation of EOD technical training school, Joe was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany. While stationed there, Joe deployed to Gioia de Colle, Italy for Operation Allied Force during the Kosovo campaign. He then returned to Germany for three more months where he then deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Southern Watch. After
returning from Kuwait, he PCS’d to Osan Air Force Base, Republic of Korea where he served as an EOD technician. From Korea, Joe was transferred to Hurlburt Field, FL home of the US Air Force Special Operations Command where he is currently stationed. While stationed there, he has deployed to Iraq in support of OIF and to Afghanistan three times in support of OEF. Joe also has also deployed to Africa in support of AFSOC operations as well. Joe married his sweetheart Lisa on 13 Nov 2010 and deployed to his last OEF tour a few months later…
While on his last deployment in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, Joe was conducting route clearance operations for a US Marine Combat Engineer Battalion when 3 IED blasts occurred. During the post blast investigation, Joe stepped on a pressure plate in an area which had already been swept and deemed clear. He had walked over the area on four different occasions and was returning to his vehicle when the blast occurred. His injuries were catastrophic…Joe received an amputation of both legs above the knees and an amputation of his left arm below the elbow. Additionally, Joe also suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and is now suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
See more recipients of this award
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Technical Sergeant Joseph R. Deslauriers, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a member of the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on 23 September 2011. On that date, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Sergeant Deslauriers and his 25-vehicle route clearance patrol element, in support of Operation DESERT TORTISE, conducted a deliberate mounted combat reconnaissance in the New Zad District. Sergeant Deslauriers' skills were instrumental to rendering safe one improvised explosive device and conducting three post blast analyses of subsequent
detonations, all within a 4 hour timeframe. He repeatedly placed himself in harm's way with complete disregard for his safety by dismounting his mine resistant, ambush protected vehicle in a improvised explosive device infested area and cleared an extraction lane to a disabled armored vehicle in order to reach an injured United States Marine. Upon reaching the vehicle, Sergeant Deslauriers provided medical aid, used his hand held detector to clear a safe path to the medical evacuation helicopter landing zone, and assisted with carrying the injured Marine out of the danger area. Sergeant Deslauriers then ordered personnel to stay in the armored vehicles until he cleared a safe area for vehicle recovery personnel. While conducting the post blast analysis and a second sweep to clear the area, Sergeant Deslauriers stepped on a buried initiation system that activated a fifth improvised explosive device. Despite near mortal injuries and while his teammates rendered life saving aid, he
continued to pass information concerning the device which was vital as his team continued the mission. His actions enabled the safe extractions of two injured Marines, two disabled vehicles and completion of the mission's objectives. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Deslauriers has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Action Date: 23-Sep-11
LT.COL Bill Walkowiak is officially out of the Air Force as of September 30 after 26 years of active duty. He has taken a GS-15 position as Deputy Chief of the Ground Safety Division at the Air Force Safety Center located at Kirkland AFB in Albuquerque.