Missouri USO Salute to Heroes honors USTRANSCOM Marine
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Hero is a word tossed about so loosely today that it tends to lose its meaning. Likewise--awesome, which is meant to signify something so impressive or overwhelming as to inspire a strong feeling of admiration or fear.
In spite of the overuse of both words, they can still be correctly used to describe many military members such as U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Richard Bueno, a member of the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
Bueno was among 13 service members honored April 17 during the 8th Annual Salute to Heroes in St. Louis, an event supported by the USO of Missouri.
“The USO honored heroes from the ranks of all services,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Terrence Reid, USTRANSCOM, “for their selfless deeds, both in their service to our nation and the respect and willing commitment they make to their organizations and to fellow members of the military.
“One of this year's recipients was our very own Sgt. Richard Bueno, USMC, who serves as the executive assistant in the USTRANSCOM Office of the Chief of Staff, Joint Secretariat,” Reid continued.
Bueno has been at USTRANSCOM for nearly three years and, according to his co-workers, he routinely works long days and additional hours on weekends, holidays and training days.
"Sergeant Bueno is a hard charger with that ‘can do’ attitude that we find in all of our top Marines,” said Reid. “His dedication to mission accomplishment both on and off duty is second to none. He is an exemplary Marine with tremendous potential for storied success in our corps; a welcomed asset to any team. He is a pleasure to work with and is highly deserving of the honor bestowed upon him by the USO of Missouri."
Pete Wiederholt is the chief, USTRANSCOM Joint Secretariat/Command Information Management and Bueno’s boss.
“Sgt. Bueno is a tremendous role model,” Wiederholt said. “He displays an exceptional work ethic, is an active volunteer in the local community, and is a 3.7 G.P.A. honor student with only four classes remaining before he receives a BS in organizational leadership from the Indiana Institute of Technology. Richard is fantastic to work with and truly deserving of this recognition.”
Bueno, a soft-spoken 23-year-old from South Bend, Ind. is a bit taken aback by all the recognition and praise.
“I was very surprised when I found out that I was nominated for this award,” Bueno said. “I feel honored to receive the award, but I honestly don't believe I did anything special. (I’m) just trying to do my best and do the right thing.
Bueno has enjoyed his time at USTRANSCOM and feels the assignment has helped him become a better Marine.
“Working here at TRANSCOM is pretty cool,” Bueno said. “I get to see things that I could have never dreamed of back when I was with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. I get to learn from and observe some of the smartest and most talented military officers in the world.
“I'm proud of being a Marine, and I am grateful to be a part of the world's finest fighting organization,” Bueno continued. “It's the best thing that ever happened to me, besides my wife and kids.”
Bueno lives on Scott Air Force Base with his wife Maggie and their children Richard Jr., 5, Jakob, 2, and Ava, 1.
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