The USO soldier of the year for 2019 has been awarded to Sgt. Ty E. Able from the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment located at Hunter Army Airfield. Able is a combat medic who has served in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, where he performed advanced medical procedures while under enemy fire. Some of these procedures included a tubal thoracotomy, where a chest tube is inserted in order to drain fluid from the pleural cavity. Also located at Hunter Army Airfield was the Coast Guard USO selection, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Newberg. Newberg has participated in various rescue operations of private citizens, including being lowered onto a sinking ship from a helicopter to free the ship’s captain and harbor pilot who were trapped in the bridge.