The National Police Defense Foundation under the tutelage of Executive Director Joseph
Occhipinti is proud to announce that our 2008
Woman of the Year will be PO Leigh Ann Hester of the Franklin, Tennessee Police Department.
A member of the United States Army National Guard, Officer Hester served as a
military police officer before being deployed to Baghdad in 2004. Army documents
state that Army Sergeant Hester was serving as team leader during a March 20th, 2005
mission outside Baghdad when her convoy came under heavy attack. Hester maneuvered her
team through the kill zone then turned around to assault the insurgent's trench lines
with grenades. According to fellow soldier's accounts, she entered the trenches
with Staff Sergeant Timothy Nein and killed at least three (3) insurgents with her rifle.
The unit killed twenty-seven (27) insurgents in the attack without losing a single soldier.
For her bravery in the face of fierce enemy fighting, Sgt. Hester was awarded the
Silver Star; the first woman awarded this honor in the War on Terror and the first
since WWII. Her citation reads that her actions "saved the lives of numerous convoy
members". She was also awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War
on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Army Service Ribbon.
It is precisely this level of dedication to duty that makes PO Hester an outstanding
police officer worthy of the prestigious National Police Defense Foundations' Woman of
the Year Award. This award will be presented on May 1, 2008 at 6:00PM at Russo's on the
Bay 162-45 Cross Bay Blvd., Howard Beach, New York 11414 telephone: (718) 843-5055