GEICO honors 6 for protecting their fellow military members and civilian neighbors

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2019 – Six members of the military, one from each branch and the National Guard/Reserve, received 2018 GEICO Military Service Awards last night for their contributions to safety and drug prevention programs that have benefitted both military and civilian communities.

"These men and women personify leadership and service, both in their military roles and in the communities where they live," said GEICO President and CEO Bill Roberts, who presented the winners with their awards. "While they diligently safeguard the nation and its citizens, they also enthusiastically serve their military and civilian communities, and their efforts make those communities better places to work and live."

The awardees are:

  • Army Spc. Odailys Matos is a certified fire inspector whose attention to detail and dedication to her job ensures that nearly 200 soldiers have safe and functional living spaces. Her outstanding contributions earned an Army Achievement Medal. She is a Supply Clerk in the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st lnfantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. She is currently deployed to Afghanistan. She was honored for Fire Safety and Fire Prevention.

  • U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Gregory Bogaczyk created an anonymous Arrive Alive Program so that Marines who use it would not face repercussions for underage drinking. He also promotes bike safety as a program expert in the Naval Safety Center's Motorcycle Safety Representative Course. He serves as a Ground Safety Manager and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Chief for Marine Aircraft Group 41 at Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas. He was honored for Traffic Safety and Accident Prevention.

  • Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jack Hopson Jr. is a devoted community volunteer and has assisted more than 12 non-profits in reviewing and updating their operations to meet code standards. He developed the U.S. Navy's first-ever firefighting course at the Naval Firefighting Facility in Rota, Spain. The course features plans of action for 15 different emergency scenarios. He is a 3M safety trainer and inspector at Naval Air Forces Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia. He was honored for Fire Safety and Fire Prevention.

  • Air Force Master Sgt. Christopher W. Engelke rendered life-saving assistance after encountering a four-car collision while off-duty from his job as the highly-skilled emergency response leader for three Air Force installations. He is the Superintendent of Regional Dispatch for the Cheyenne Mountain Fire Emergency Services Flight, 721st Civil Engineer Squadron, 721st Mission Support Group at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was honored for Fire Safety and Fire Prevention.

  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class John W. Cochrane developed fire prevention and firefighting tactics for the newly-commissioned U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew. In addition, he shares his expertise with youth by volunteering with the Trail Life USA. He is assigned to the Kimball, based in Honolulu, and serves as the leading Petty Officer for the Damage Control & Repair Division and the Fire & Safety Division Manager. He was honored for Fire Safety and Fire Prevention.

  • U.S. National Guard Technical Sgt. Carissa Ann Siry helps more than 25 community-based coalitions and three major college campuses reduce youth substance abuse. She has also trained schools in grant-writing, equipping them to receive funds to support their substance abuse prevention efforts. She is a Civil Operations Specialist assigned to the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force in New York, New York. She was honored for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention.

The honorees each received a $2,500 cash honorarium from the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation. In the days prior to the awards ceremony, the honorees were treated to special events in around Washington, D.C., including a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where they laid a wreath. Transportation to Washington, D.C., and lodging for recipients and a guest were provided.

Yesterday's ceremony marked the 30th year that GEICO has presented the awards. Military service members were among GEICO's very first customers when the company was founded more than 80 years ago. In addition to the awards, GEICO offers special savings to service members and has a special team dedicated to assisting military customers and supporting causes important to the military community.

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