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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | April 29, 2011

11th Wing JA receives USO honor, distinction

By Airman 1st Class Lindsey A. Beadle 11th Wing Public Affairs

Captain Wendy Buckingham, 11th Wing assistant staff judge advocate and chief of labor law and claims here, was recently honored at a USO Woman of Year Luncheon.

Previously stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Captain Buckingham served as chief of adverse actions, labor law, medical law, and operations law.

In June 2009, prior to her move to Joint Base Andrews, Captain Buckingham deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. In Iraq, she prosecuted high-value detainees in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and declassified evidence and built evidence packets on detainees that were given to the Iraqi government in order to transition the detainees from U.S. security-based detention to Iraqi warrant-based detention in support of the drawdown of U.S. forces.

While transiting bases on August 21, 2009, her convoy was struck by an IED, shattering her right tibia below the knee and requiring an emergency medical evacuation and multiple surgeries. After eight months of rehabilitation, she returned to active duty in March 2010.

Prior to returning to duty, she had the opportunity to speak to all the students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, at Fort Worth Country Day School, her alma mater, about her experiences in Iraq, her injury, and her recovery.

On July 4, 2010, she was honored with a Presidential recognition at The White House because she offered bandages from her medical kit to a member of her convoy who had sustained greater injuries than her while they were transported to a triage center after the IED blast. For her combat service, she received the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, and the Purple Heart.

As part of her community outreach, Captain Buckingham has served for two years on the Purple Heart Scholarship Committee. Each year, the committee selects about 80 students to receive college scholarships. She is the first and only female committee member.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Notre Dame Law School, Capt Buckingham volunteers through the Notre Dame Career Service Office to assist fellow Notre Dame students and alumni search for legal jobs and she answers questions about life as a JAG officer for students and alumni interested in becoming JAGs. She is active in her church, where she co-leads a Bible study with her husband and teaches Sunday school classes.

Capt. Buckingham is also responsible for planning three installation-wide events over the first week of May, 2011 on Joint Base Andrews as part of the National Holocaust Days of Remembrance. Through her leadership, she has arranged for a Holocaust survivor to speak here and for three high school students to receive U.S. Savings Bonds for writing award winning essays about the Holocaust and genocide.

For this and for all of her accomplishments, Joint Base Andrews is proud to have Captain Buckingham call this base her home.

The USO contributed to this story.