The Milwaukee Bucks Everyday Hero Salute presented by Jockey
Jockey is proud to present the Milwaukee Bucks Everyday Hero salute. Jockey and the Milwaukee Bucks will recognize those in the community that have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The teacher, the coach, the first responder, the one who has made your community a little stronger and safer, and the one who has made the life of a loved one a little better.
It’s important to take the time now to salute that person. You all know one.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know someone you would like to nominate.
Heroes We've Honored This Season
February: Katy Werginz
Sergeant First Class Katy Werginz has served in the WI Army National Guard for over 18 years. As a transportation specialist, Katy has deployed three times. Katy served 12 months in 2002-2003 at Fort Bragg North Carolina in support of the Special Operations Command and spent 12 months in Iraq stationed at Camp Taji in 2006-2007 working base security and transporting supplies around the Baghdad area. Most recently, she spent 9 months at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan from 2012-2013 operating as a gunner and convoy commander on a convoy escort team. During her service she has been awarded the Combat Action Badge, 3 Army Commendation medals and 3 Army Achievement medals. Katy is currently assigned to Joint Force Headquarters out of Madison and is also serving as the Victim Advocate Coordinator for the WI National Guard assisting soldiers who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
January: Jessica Benzakein
Jessica Benzakein is a foster mom who has two biological two children, Eli and Brenna, and adopted six boys on January 3rd, more than three decades after she was placed in the foster care system herself. Jess also provides a home to a 17-year-old boy and recently had a 5-month-old infant under her care after she was contacted in the middle of the night by child services. Jess is a single mother working full time with 9 kids under her care (either adopted or in Foster Care) but all of them loved simply because of her heart saying that she needed to take them in. Jess has given Will, 18, Carter, 14, Sidney, 13, Buddy, 8, Kendrick, 6, TJ, 4 and others a safe home and more importantly a family and hope for the future.
December: Brad Vonruden
Brad Vonruden went into the Navy Nuclear Power Program right out of high school in 1998. He was then stationed on USS Enterprise where he started in the propulsion plants and ended with supply department. There, he ran all solid waste equipment on the ship. Brad was also on a fire team and stood armed watch in foreign and home ports. Brad ran the inventory for 10,000-line items of hazardous material inventory and held training for all sailors/Marines who used the HazMat. In 2004, Brad got out and returned home. For the past 12 years, Brad has held apartment maintenance jobs with the last 8 years spent with Mandel Group. Brad is a proud father of an 11 year old boy, Dominic, who attends Waukesha STEM.
December: Andrew Raddatz
Andrew Raddatz is a Sgt. in the United States Marine Corps with Fox 2/24 Active Reserve Unit out of Milwaukee, who he has served with for 9 years. During his time, Andrew has been a platoon Sergeant as well as intermittent Platoon Commander while serving within his unit. He is also working for the Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer. Andrew has been to South Korea to train the ROC (Republic of Korea) Marines and is currently working on the build up to a deployment to Middle East this year. Andrew’s strong dedication to the local communities, as well as his dedication to the United States through his services, are a great example of why he is our Everyday Hero.
November: Gene Schulz
Gene is a 96-year-old WWII Army veteran who was a typist in Patton’s Third Army. He was an eyewitness to the first concentration camp discovered in Germany by American troops in April of 1945. He is a nationally renowned resource on the European Campaign in WWII and is constantly speaking to school and community groups as a Holocaust eyewitness. Gene has previously been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, and this past September he was awarded the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Legion of Honour, the highest military and civilian award that France awards, for the liberation of Chartres, France from Nazi occupation by Gene’s army unit. Gene wrote a book that details memoirs of his service in the Army called “The Ghost in General Patton’s Third Army”. Gene and his wife, Eleanore, have been married for 70 years and have five children and sixteen grandchildren.
November: Yaphet Morales
Yaphet Morales is a Milwaukee native who has proudly been serving in the United States Coast Guard since 2013 and has since been promoted to Boatswain Mate First Class. Yaphet has been deployed to South Korea and most recently returned home last summer after a year deployment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where his unit ran around-the-clock anti-terrorism force protection. He currently works as a proud Impact Manager for City Year Milwaukee, a non-profit organization dedicated to closing gaps in high-need Milwaukee Public Schools by supporting students' academic and social-emotional development. He leads and coaches a young group of AmeriCorps members who work directly with students in the classroom. Yaphet has dedicated his life to service both in his community and military.