Trio of USO Service Members of the Year go above and beyond

The 2021 NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola campaign is more than just a military appreciation platform — it’s a campaign that salutes heroes next door. Each week, will highlight multiple individuals who have made a difference with their service both in the military and to their communities.

In the latest profiles, is highlighting three 2020 USO Service Members of the Year: SGT Mary Ehiarinmwian (USO Soldier of the Year), PO2 Andrew J. Fleming (USO Coast Guard Guardsman of the Year and Sgt Nolan P. McShane (USO Marine of the Year).

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SGT Mary Ehiarinmwian/Photo courtesy of USO

SGT Ehiarinmwian was driving to conduct Physical Readiness Training (PRT) at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. On her way to PRT, she was unknowingly driving behind a vehicle of a soldier from the same unit when that vehicle suddenly lost control and rolled over several times before coming to a rest, upside down, on a steel property gate – almost impaling the driver.

She pulled her vehicle over and rendered assistance, seeing if the driver was injured before pulling the driver from the smoking vehicle and getting him to safety. Ehiarinmwian stayed with the driver until medical assistance arrived on site. She currently serves with the U.S. Army’s 523rd Engineer Support Company and is from St. Robert, Missouri.

PO2 Fleming was conducting on-water booming operations off the coast of Georgia in his role as a marine science technician when a report of a capsized recreational finishing vessel came over his radio. He quickly directed his workboat to respond to assist in the recovery of two mariners from the capsized vessel. Upon his arrival at the scene, Fleming was able to pull the mariners from the water. One was unconscious and he successfully performed CPR and was able to resuscitate. While everyone was en route to Station Brunswick, he noticed the second mariners was showing signs of hypothermia and shock. Fleming moved quickly to remove the mariner’s soaked outer clothing and wrapped him in his own jacket to retain body heat as they made their way to the station.

Smoy Coast Guard 2020 Fleming Usophoto
PO2 Andrew J. Fleming/Photo courtesy of USO

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fleming led the efforts to establish protocols for Sector New York’s remote facility inspection program. This helped to safeguard branch personnel from exposure to the virus and planned operations to ensure that the 200 facilities within the area of responsibility remained compliant with protocols. He serves in the U.S Coast Guard’s Sector New York and is from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Sgt McShane (pictured above) was honored for his quick thinking during a training exercise in Twentynine Palms, California. In the course of the exercise, a Marine become severely wounded and McShane moved quickly to control the chaotic site, while confirming tourniquet placement and inspecting the pressure dressings on the wounded Marine. His calmness, leadership and tactical knowledge were vital in stabilizing the Marine prior to the air medical evacuation to the local hospital. He currently serves with the U.S. Martine Corps’ 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The details of the honorees brave actions were provided by the USO.