WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
On May 2, 2021, Senior Airman Elijah Posana made the ultimate sacrifice any Airman can make. In a final act of selflessness, he saved the lives of three of his cousin’s, but lost his own.
This act of his would posthumously earn him the Airman's medal, the highest award an Airman can receive outside of combat.
On April 22, 2022, service members from Whiteman Air Force Base and US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston presented the Airman’s Medal to Posana’s family in Texas.
Posana’s peers said his selfless nature had been apparent from early on in his Air Force career. U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Derek Barnes, Installation Entry Controller, 509th Security Forces said Posana would take on volunteer opportunities every chance he got. He always wanted to help anyway he could.
Posana would also routinely take new Airmen under his wing, Barnes said.
“He would explain to them what goes on,” Barnes said, “and if they didn't understand anything he would get them to understand, help them out.”
Not only would Posana help out new Airmen, but he also boosted the morale of the entire flight, Barnes said
“He would walk in the room and light up the place,” said Barnes. “He definitely brought morale.”
Posana’s leadership can also attest to his willingness to help out and to his drive to go above and beyond.
“Anything that he had ever worked on, he always succeeded at,” says Senior Master Sergeant Jamie Kolakowski, former First Sergeant, 509th Security Forces. “I would say he was passionate, I would say that he was capable and definitely an overachiever in making sure the mission was accomplished no matter what.”