U.S. ARMY Staff Sergeant Order of St. Michael Recipient
My name is Jason Tabansky. I retired as a Staff Sergeant after 15-1/2 years of active service in the U.S. Army. I served as a Chinook helicopter mechanic, crewmember and flight crew instructor. Born and raised in Brownsville, TX, after high school, I attended basic training in August of 2001... then our country was attacked on September 11th. I knew then my life was about to change. Proud to have joined the military, I was ready to do my part to defend my country.
Through my career, I served two tours in Afghanistan (2002-2003, 2012-2013) and one tour in Iraq (2005-2006). I was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Ft. Bragg, Ft. Hood, Ft. Rucker and also completed a two-year tour in South Korea and a 4-year tour in Germany. I was blessed to be a leader to many Soldiers and received various awards and decorations. Of these, I am most proud of my Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Senior Crew Member Badge and the prestigious Order of Saint Michael.
In September of 2015, at the age of 32, I suffered a career ending and life changing spinal cord injury. I became an incomplete tetraplegic and have been wheelchair bound since then. Although I lost my ability to walk, I never lost my ability and desire to live life to the fullest. I am now a full-time athlete and compete in para-archery as part of the national team. I have dreams of becoming a Paralympic athlete and I know I can accomplish it if I put my mind and hard work ethic towards it. I also continue to serve in my community as an adaptive archery coach to kids with disabilities as well as adults, both veterans and civilians. My desires to serve and help have brought me to work with Wheelchairs for Warriors, where I serve as a board member. I am extremely thankful for an organization like this and the work they do helps so many of our veterans in need of a specialized wheelchair. I am happy to be onboard with them and know that great things are going to happen in the future!