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2 AETC airmen earn DoD's top journalism honors

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Clinton Atkins
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
Two Air Education and Training Command noncommissioned officers were recently named 2013 Thomas Jefferson Award winners, a Department of Defense honor bestowed upon Public Affairs personnel annually.

The Thomas Jefferson Awards program, a competition that includes every military branch, recognizes print, photo and broadcast journalists for outstanding achievement in furthering the objectives of the DoD Internal Information Program.

Air Force service members won six out of 35 awards presented. AETC accounted for one-third of the Air Force wins.

Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz, AETC Public Affairs at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, (feature category) won for her gripping tale about the consequences of texting and driving.

"It's fantastic to see Beth receive such high professional praise for her outstanding work," said Lt. Col. Sean McKenna, director of AETC Public Affairs. "While this award highlights she's a talented journalist, she's an even stronger Airman and always brings passion and commitment to whatever project she's undertaking."

Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla, 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, (photojournalism category) won for her combined skills in writing and photography, which she used to tell the story about the "Candy Bomber" and his reenactment of delivering candy to children during the Berlin Airlift campaign.

"I'm extremely pleased with Sergeant Quintanilla's success. A Thomas Jefferson award is the pinnacle of recognition for photojournalists in the DoD community," said Joe Bela, chief of 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs. "Her accomplishment cannot be overstated.

"This achievement is just one more marker for an NCO who always brings her A-game, no matter what the task or mission. It's a reflection of her work ethic and drive," he said.

The award presentation was held May 9 at the Defense Information School, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Brent Colburn, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, presided over the event.