SJ Airman awarded USO Service Member of the Year

Senior Airman Tanner McMullen, a 334th Fighter Squadron aviation resource manager, poses for a photo April 17, 2019, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. McMullen was recently named the 2019 USO Service Member of the Year for his actions in the community during Hurricane Florence September 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla V. Freitas)

An aviation resources manager from the 334th Fighter Squadron was named the USO Service Member of the Year for 2019 for displaying acts of heroism.

Senior Airman Tanner McMullen from the 334th FS was formally named the 2019 USO Service Member of the Year for his actions in September 2018 such as, rescuing 29 people from flooded neighborhoods including, an elderly cancer patient and an infant child.

He was formally invited to the USO Awards Banquet this summer to be recognized.

McMullen said he was surprised when his command executive officer notified him about being the recipient of the award.

“I do my very best to make an impact on the community around me,” McMullen said. “It’s very humbling to feel like my outreach is appreciated at such a high level.”

In addition to his normal duties as a SARM, checking flight authorizations to evacuate jets from the flightline during Hurricane Florence, he checked on his family and then immediately began helping the community, said Maj. Timothy Nesbitt, a fighter pilot with the 334th Fighter Squadron.

“Not only is he a super hero, but he is extremely humble,” Nesbitt added. “He’s not looking for the recognition.”

Nesbitt said when McMullen was notified, he felt humbled because all he wants out of helping people in the community is simply the feeling he gets from helping other in the community.

“My outreach mostly stems from my direct involvement with the American Red Cross,” McMullen said. “I am on the Disaster Action Team and respond to fires and natural disasters.

“I have the mindset of ‘If not me, who?,” McMullen said.

When McMullen was young, he said he saw others give his father assistance when he had medical issues, which inspired him to volunteer in the community.

McMullen said he knows a lot of people in the community need assistance and that is what drives him to volunteer.

“I am going to keep doing what I can to make an impact in our community,” said McMullen. “That is how I am going to celebrate my award.”