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​TSgt. Douglas J. Matthews, a combat control craftsman with the
125th Special Tactics Squadron in Portland, Ore., shown here, is one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2014.

​TSgt. Douglas J. Matthews, a combat control craftsman with the
125th Special Tactics Squadron in Portland, Ore., is one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2014. During a combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Matthews was injured when his team came under heavy enemy fire. An improvised explosive device detonated directly below his vehicle, blowing Matthews out of it. Refusing a medevac, he continued to fight, calling in close air strikes and providing cover for his team. Matthews was awarded the Silver Star for heroism and a Purple Heart. After spending a year in intense physical therapy, Matthews returned to full combat mission ready status. Air Force Magazine is shining the spotlight on each OAY in the days leading up to AFA's Air & Space Conference that starts on Sept. 15 in National Harbor, Md. AFA will honor these airmen there. Also featured to date:

SrA. Aaron T. Feliciano                SrA. Shabree N. Heasell
SSgt. David W. Wallace III           TSgt. Latoria R. Ellis
TSgt. Ryan E. Gangadeen           TSgt. Toyre L. Hudson