Ohio National Guard News

Ohio Air National Guard member
earns Latino Military Service award

Story by Tech. Sgt. Nic Kuetemeyer, 121st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Branson, ONG

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Jones (second from left), Ohio Air National Guard state command chief, recognizes Airmen of the 121st Air Refueling Wing with challenge coins, Oct. 14, 2017, at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, Ohio. Also pictured are Senior Master Sgt. Tamara Gonzalez (from left), first sergeant with the 121st Air Refueling Wing; Staff Sgt. Sabrina Jimenez, a personnel specialist with the 121st ARW who was a recipient of one of this year’s Latino Military Service of Distinction awards from the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission; and Chief Master Sgt. Kelly A. Gibbs, 121st ARW command chief.

Courtesy photo

121st Air Refueling Wing patch.Ohio Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Sabrina Jimenez of the 121st Air Refueling Wing (third from left) is presented with the Latino Military Service of Distinction award by the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission Oct. 14, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Jimenez is a first-generation American citizen whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (11/14/17) —Ohio Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Sabrina Jimenez, a personnel specialist at the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus, Ohio, was presented the Latino Military Service of Distinction award Oct. 14, 2017, by the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission.

Five Ohioans were chosen to receive an award, given to Latinos who have served and continue to serve the country with honor and excellence, at the Distinguished Hispanic Ohioans Awards Gala held at The Ohio State University.

Jimenez, a first-generation American and Hilliard, Ohio resident, was the only recipient who is a currently serving member of the military.

“It feels good, it means a lot,” Jimenez said about winning the award. “I thank my Family. They’re the ones who instilled my values in me, and push me to do my best.”

Jimenez’s parents immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua before she was born, to escape civil strife.

“They left everything to come here,” Jimenez said. “It was kind of just ‘pack your stuff, we need to go.’”

Jimenez said her Family inspired her to strive to do her best, even if it meant getting out of her comfort zone. She’d always wanted to be in the military, but didn’t learn what it would take until after she enlisted.

“I enlisted when I was still in high school. I didn’t know what being in the National Guard meant,” Jimenez said. “It opened my eyes. I used to be a timid girl; I was shy. The National Guard shaped me in to a professional woman, and helped me do things I was uncomfortable with, like go to basic training.”

Jimenez has been a National Guard member for four years, but she is making long-term plans. Inspired by her Family’s perseverance through hardship, Jimenez said she intends to stay in National Guard until retirement. She’s working with mentors to help develop her career, and plans to enroll in at Franklin University to study health care administration.

For Jimenez, it all started with her Family.

“I know what they had to go through to get here,” she said. “I felt like I needed to give them a gift for all their hard work, and just live the American dream.”

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