Air Force Veteran Heath Culbertson is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Heath Culbertson, who received a Distinguished Flying Cross for a mission in Afghanistan.

Since Heath Culbertson was around six years old, the Pasadena, Texas, native wanted to serve in the Air Force. This dream was realized when he entered service in 1996.

For his first assignment, Culbertson served Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and worked as an Aircrew Egress system technician. Throughout his service, Culbertson served multiple tours, including four tours in Iraq, three tours in Afghanistan and some time in South Korea and Sri Lanka as well.

In 2011, Culbertson served as the flight engineer on the Pavehawk HH-60G as a part of the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron in Afghanistan. During this operation, the crew recovered fellow pilots downed in an Army helicopter in the region. Culbertson and his crew were able to recover one of the deceased pilots and the rest of the crew; however, a bullet entered and exited his helmet in the process. Fortunately, the bullet did not penetrate his head. Culbertson and his crew received the Mackay Trophy for the most meritorious flight of the year.

Culbertson also received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He promoted to master sergeant in 2013 and amassed over 2,800 flying hours and more than 350 combat hours. During his time in service, Culbertson also received an Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Achievement Medal, among many others.

In August 2014, Culbertson retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Act.

Thank you for your service!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Editor: Claire Pei

Fact checker: Enya Lowe

Graphic artist: Jessica Hunsinger

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Published on Jul. 16, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 137


  1. Jacob Guzman July 16, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I did serve with him in uniform but I did serve with him afterwards at KBR. His brain child was to set up and run an Industrial Pipefitting program for young service members getting ready to transition into civilian life. The program was a complete success.

    Heath is definitely deserving of this, and many more honors.

  2. Senior Veterans Care Network July 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you for your service Heath Culbertson.

Comments are closed.

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