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NEWS | April 18, 2024

183d Wing Member Receives National Award

183d Wing

Capt. James Horn has been named the 2024 USO National Guardsmen of the Year. Capt. Horn is a medical planner in the Air Operations Group at the 183d Wing, Springfield, IL. He also currently works full-time as an Operations Research Analyst at Scott Air Force Base.
Horn is from O’Fallon Missouri. He originally enlisted in the military in 1996, the summer before his senior year of high school. After successfully completing both U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy Basic Training, and extensive overseas deployments, Horn concluded his service to focus on his education and his family.
17 years later, Horn decided to return to the military, this time joining the Illinois Air National Guard. Horn says that he chose to join the Guard because of the balance it allowed him to have between his duty to the nation and his responsibilities as a father to his four children. Horn accredits the recruiting team at the 183d with their help not only helping him re-enlist, but also commission shortly after that.
The service members nominated for and awarded USO Service Member of the Year are recognized for their heroic and selfless actions. On two separate occasions Horn showed extraordinary bravery and selflessness. Last year Horn got a call from his neighbor that her pipes had frozen and burst in her home. Horn immediately ran to the house and did everything he could to help minimize the damage to the home. He even offered up his own home to the family of six to stay in until theirs was repaired.
Horn went to stay with his parents while his neighbors were staying in his house. On the way to his parents' home, Horn was driving on the interstate when the car in front of him pulled abruptly into the median. Horn pulled over and immediately went to assess the scene. Upon realizing that the driver was experiencing a medical emergency, Horn called 911 and began flagging and slowing down traffic. However, an SUV did not see the vehicle and crashed into it causing it to collide with Horn’s. Despite the collision Horn continued to help everyone affected to the best of his ability.
Additional to these acts of bravery, Horn is a consistent volunteer at for USO Missouri and spends lots of his free time helping there. Horn expressed extreme gratitude to the service members and military for helping him get where he is today.
“In the DOD, we have about 2.7 million service people. I like to think that every one of them would have done the same thing I did,” Horn said, ‘‘I truly believe that there's 2.7 million people that deserve this award.”