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Troops and Veterans
By Sue Campbell

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Senior Airman Duane Dunlap visits with President Barack Obama during a Salute to the Military event at the White House on the Fourth of July. Airman Dunlap, a security forces journeyman assigned to the 59th Patient Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was one of five Airmen chosen to attend the event that included dinner, fireworks and a chance to meet President Obama and the First Lady.
Senior Airman Duane Dunlap visits with President Barack Obama during a Salute to the Military event at the White House on the Fourth of July. Airman Dunlap, a security forces journeyman assigned to the 59th Patient Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was one of five Airmen chosen to attend the event that included dinner, fireworks and a chance to meet President Obama and the First Lady.
 LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (7/8/2009 - AFNS)

Senior Airman Duane Dunlap enjoyed a very special Independence Day with President Barack Obama.

Airman Dunlap, a security forces journeyman assigned to the 59th Patient Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was one of five Airmen chosen to participate in a Fourth of July Salute to the Military event at the White House.

The invitation included dinner, a fireworks display and the chance to meet the president.

"It was a great experience," Airman Dunlap said. "It was an honor to be picked and meet President and Mrs. Obama."

In June 2007, Airman Dunlap was part of a four-truck patrol traveling outside the secured base perimeter of Camp Bucca, Iraq, when they came under enemy attack. His patrol was struck by an explosive

device and Airman Dunlap's vehicle was destroyed. His helmet was pierced by shrapnel, he was burned and had a one pound, half inch thick piece of metal in his leg. Without regard to his own safety and disregarding his pain, he dropped into the vehicle's burning compartment and untangled his leader, pulling him out of his seat. His actions during this conflict resulted in him receiving the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and the Purple Heart.
Since his injuries, Airman Dunlap has been receiving treatment and therapy at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB and Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He was able to take a guest with him to the Fourth of July event, and he chose Staff. Sgt. Theda Franklin, the NCO in charge of the 59th PS at Wilford Hall.

"We were both able to meet and shake hands with President and Mrs. Obama," Sergeant Franklin said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was very obvious that they both really appreciate the military."

Article by Sue Campbell, 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
U.S Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Theda Franklin
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2009

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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