This year’s Commack High School Alumnus of Distinction is Christopher Petersen, Class of 2003. A graduate of Notre Dame, he worked in finance until 2008. Christopher always aspired to serve our country in the military, so he followed his heart and went through an arduous two-year pararescue military training courses: Pararescue Indoctrination Course, Air Force Combat Dive Course, Army Airborne School, Navy Military Freefall School, Survival School, EMT-Basic and Paramedic and the PJ Apprentice Course. He was one of 10 of the original 90 soldiers who graduated.
As part of the 103rd Rescue Wing of the United States Air Force, Christopher has deployed three times to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom: in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Over this time period, he participated in numerous combat personnel recovery missions, resulting in American, coalition, and Afghan lives saved. He was twice selected as Airman of the Quarter in 2012, as well as the New York Air National Guard’s Airman of the Year in the same year. His military decorations include the Bronze Star with Valor, several Air Medals, an Aerial Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal.
In 2013 he was selected as the USO National Guardsmen of the Year representing the entire United States National Guard, and also the recipient of the Special Operations Medical Association Pararescue Medic of the Year in 2013.