USO TRIBUTE CINCINNATI 2019 HONOREES

SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 MONTGOMERY INN BOATHO– USE
4:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. 

W.E. (BILL) SANTEN

W.E. (BILL) SANTEN

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1928, Corporal Bill Santen served as a medic in the 6th Tank Battalion of the United States Army’s 24th Infantry Division during the Korean War. The US Army’s 24th Infantry Division was part of the occupation forces stationed in Japan following World War II and was the first division to respond at the outbreak of the Korean War. 

Following the service, Bill returned to Cincinnati, finished law school and in 1958 formed Santen & Hughes Law Firm with his brother Harry.

Along with a robust practice, Mr. Santen has served the community in a variety of roles including Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, a trial lawyer for the City of Cincinnati and was appointed to handle federal lands cases as a Commissioner throughout the State. Bill has tried numerous jury cases and bench trials.

In addition to his legal work, Bill Santen has spent much of his time serving political campaigns and the local community through philanthropic efforts. During the 1970’s he was appointed as an advance man for three United States Vice Presidents, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller. In that capacity, he planned and managed their trips throughout the United States in conjunction with the United States Secret Service and the White House Communication Commission. Mr. Santen was appointed by President Nixon to the International Maritime Communications Conference in London, England. He also served the campaigns of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

Philanthropically, Mr. Santen has been very involved in the community throughout his career. He served on numerous Boards and in leadership with organizations including Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Tender Mercies, the Health Resource Center, Little Sisters of the Poor, St Gertrude Conference of St. Vincent DePaul, the USO Tribute Cincinnati, Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development and St. Xavier Church. Bill often says that charitable work has been a true gift to his life.

Mr. Santen credits his successes to his faith and family. Married to Nancy, his family includes his children, Bill, Tom and Libby. His grandchildren bring joy to his life. 

Bill Santen also expresses himself creatively through writing and painting.

SERGEANT MICHAEL RYAN MATHER

SERGEANT MICHAEL RYAN MATHER

Sergeant Michael Mather, native of Harrison, Ohio, joined the United States Air Force in 1999 and served 16 years in the United States Military; 9 years as an F-15 Crew Chief in the United States Air Force and 7 years as a Forward Observer in the United States Army. He served 11 tours to places such as Africa, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan and many more during his career. On October 11, 2008, Sergeant Mathers was on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq when he was shot in the face by a sniper. The bullet entered his chin and exited his neck, passing through the marrow and causing a 40% loss of his jaw.  Sergeant Mather is the recipient of a Purple Heart. 

Michael graduated in May 2019 from Xavier University with his BS in Political Science and minors in both Psychology and Theology. He started the Purple Heart chapter in Clermont County and is a member of Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Michael also spends time mentoring other veterans and speaking to youth in schools about his military experiences. He is considering a career in the government sector moving forward.

Michael is Co-Author with 20 other veterans and a spouse of the book “The Fire Within: Shedding Light on Trauma”.

Michael and his wife Emily just celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary on July 2. They have two children; Caitlyn and Christopher and have the honor of being called Opi (German for grandpa) by their grandkids; Raiden and Althea. 

MASTER at ARMS 1st CLASS BENJAMIN BROCKWAY

BENJAMIN BROCKWAY

A native of the Toledo, Ohio area, Benjamin D. Brockway is a 2000 graduate of Ottawa Hills High School. He joined the United States Navy in October 2002.  

Master at Arms 1st Class (MA1) Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist (EXW) Brockway is an SW Tech Lead Petty Officer in Columbus Ohio. He is responsible for all Navy Special Warfare (NSW) Technicians assigned to NSW Detachment Ohio. Charged with keeping all the junior sailors’ deployment ready. The mission of a NSW Technicians is to support a SEAL Team in their specific field of expertise and to adapt and support their mission in any way possible. Specialties include Unmanned Ariel Vehicle Operators, Engineers, K9 Handlers, Sensitive Site Exploration and more. As an MA1, Benjamin also leads all community outreach for NSW in the area as well as assisting local recruiters for the NSW community.

MA1 Brockway was deployed on board the USS Oscar Austin DDG79 Guided-Missiles Destroyer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following his tour on the Austin, he was assigned to Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 23 (The Rabid Dogfish). While at MSD 23, he obtained the qualification of Raven. Ravens provide security for aircraft landing in hostile and unsecured airports. They also provide key support to Congressional Delegation Missions. After Mobile Security, MA1 Brockway screened and passed to become a Navy Special Warfare Technician and was assigned to SEAL Team 18. During his time with NSW MA1 Brockway has supported SEAL Team 2, Seal Team 8, Seal Team 10, Multi-Purpose Canine and Navy Special Warfare Group 2.

Benjamin was recently married this past November to Emily who he met while volunteering at Ohio Military Kids (OMK) Camp. Emily was a camp counselor at the time. OMK Camp is a weeklong summer camp for children of military families held on Kelly’s Island on Lake Erie. OMK is supported by the USO Central Southern Ohio. 

In addition to his work with OMK, MA1 Brockway has supported USO events during The Ohio State University Spring game, at Nationwide Arena for the USO at the Columbus Bluejackets appreciation game and was a Uniformed Representative at the USO Fundraising Dinner.  

This past June, he worked with Checkered Flag Foundation to raise money for Fisher House along with NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski. The Michigan event raised $100,000 for Fisher House. He also partnered with Brad to donate a service dog, Benjamin had trained, to a servicemember in need.  

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER PAUL J. TUMIDOLSKY

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER PAUL J. TUMIDOLSKY

Born and raised in Cincinnati, a graduate of Milford High School; Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Paul Tumidolsky joined the United States Army shortly after high school. Assigned as a telecommunications specialist, he was stationed in Colorado and Hawaii.

After his initial enlistment, he returned to the Cincinnati, attended the University of Cincinnati and joined the Ohio Army National Guard (OHARNG). After graduation from UC, he accepted a direct commission, was branched aviation and attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama. CW3 Tumidolsky served as an OHARGN platoon leader and company commander while living in Cincinnati and working full time for Delta Air Lines and then Planes Companies in West Chester.

In 2007, he was given the opportunity to become the aircraft maintenance officer.  CW3 Tumidolsky currently serves as the Aviation Maintenance Officer for Army Aviation Support Facility #2 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, Ohio.

Since assuming the role of maintenance officer, he has become a fully qualified UH-60M Maintenance Test Pilot and Maintenance Examiner responsible for teaching, coaching, mentoring, and evaluating maintenance test pilots.

CW3 Tumidolsky has deployed to Operation Joint Guardian in support of NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was awarded the Air Medal for regular flight missions against and armed enemy in a combat theater. He has flown over 3000 hours, with over 520 hours in a combat or imminent danger zone.  His unit has also provided relief during Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy and was most recently deployed to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria relief, providing food, water, medicine, and other supplies to remote and isolated parts of the island.

CW3 Tumidolsky’s military awards include the Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal,  Army Commendation Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, and several state and NATO awards.

After serving as a commissioned officer for 11 years and being selected for promotion to Major, CW3 Tumidolsky chose to revert to Warrant Officer.

In addition to attending countless Army schools, he is a Master Army Aviator, served as a subject-matter expert for the U.S. Army Aviation Missile Command and holds a MBA from Capital University.

When off duty, Paul is active in his sons’ Boy Scout troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. He serves various roles in his church. He and his family enjoy camping and have been as far west as Wyoming, north to New York, south to Texas, and points in between in their camper. “My family is the most important thing to me and I’m thankful every day for their love and support.”

“The USO has been vital to me and to all service members, both stateside and deployed. One of my favorite memories is of being deployed to Iraq and using the USO’s service allowing soldiers to record themselves reading a book and then send the DVD and book home. After I sent my recording home, my wife sent me a video of my kids watching the video of me reading the book. It was an awesome way to stay connected with my kids.”

USS CINCINNATI

USS CINCINNATI

Austal’s, USS Cincinnati variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), developed for the US Navy, is a high-speed, agile, multi-mission combatant that delivers superior seakeeping and performance. The USS Cincinnati variant LCS is an open ocean capable vessel but is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace. A fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant, the USS Cincinnati variant LCS provides the warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to accomplish multiple, critical missions including mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare with inherent capabilities that also support missions such as special operations and maritime interdiction. USS Cincinnati variant LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with rapidly interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system. The Ship variant’s aviation facilities and watercraft launch, and recovery capability support focused mission packages are outfitted with both manned and unmanned air, surface, and sub-surface vehicles. A mission bay and three weapons modules provide support service interfaces between mission package weapons, sensors and vehicles and the sea frame.

The Navy will commission Cincinnati, Oct. 5, 2019 in Gulfport, Mississippi. The commissioning ceremony signifies the acceptance for service and the entrance of a ship into the active fleet of the U. S. Navy.