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Home : News : News
NEWS | Jan. 27, 2022

JBSA Military Ambassadors represent long-standing relationship with City of San Antonio

By Kathleen Salazar 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

San Antonio has celebrated the military since the first Battle of Flowers parade in 1891 that had about 15,000 people in attendance. Since then, the event has grown and so has the representation of the military.

Today, San Antonio continues its tradition that honors the historic relationship between San Antonio and the U.S. Armed Forces.

“We take the title of Military City USA very seriously and look for any opportunity to strengthen the bond between the military and civilian communities of San Antonio,” said Jon Fristoe, Fiesta San Antonio Commission President.

“Since 1891, Fiesta serves as a celebration to honor the heroes of the Alamo,” said Steve Rosenauer, Fiesta San Antonio Commission Executive Director. “The Fiesta San Antonio Commission and its 100-plus participating member organizations are proud to continue recognizing and honoring our military members through the involvement of the Military Ambassador Program.”

“Our Military Ambassadors represent the heroes who have fought for the freedoms we enjoy today,” said Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander. “The communities surrounding JBSA show phenomenal support and appreciation to the men and women of the armed services, and during Fiesta, they are able to share their personal bond with the Military Ambassadors.”

“These dedicated service members represent each branch of the United States military and they create a positive impact throughout the 11 days of Fiesta by sharing their talents, attending events, promoting the military, engaging with Fiesta volunteers and guests and being positive role models to exemplify why San Antonio is Military City USA!,” Rosenauer said.

“As a military retiree myself, I can attest that that relationship is no better demonstrated than through Fiesta’s partnership with the Military,” Fristoe said. “The Military Ambassador Program is one that acknowledges service members who represent the best in all of us: patriotism, diversity, resilience, community engagement, teamwork and inspiration.

“To have the Ambassadors participate in Fiesta as we celebrate our heritage and culture is testament to them as well as to their leaders who allow them the time to do so,” Fristoe added. “We are proud to support and endorse them as the literal linkage between the civilian and military communities.”

This year’s Military Ambassadors are:

U.S. Army Military Ambassadors

Master Sgt. Karenlee R. Hockenberry is a G2 Senior Enlisted Leader from U.S. Army North at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
Rank/Name: Master Sgt. Karenlee R. Hockenberry

Unit: U.S. Army North G2 Senior Enlisted Leader
Duty Title: G2 Senior Enlisted Leader
“It is an honor to serve as a Military Ambassador during Fiesta San Antonio because I get to be part of a military group representing the heroes who came before us. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to help keep their memory alive and remind others of our rich cultural history here in San Antonio. What started as a group of patriotic women celebrating our heroes grew to be one of the largest events and parades in our country. I am truly humbled and proud to be a Military Ambassador.”

Rank/Name: Staff Sgt. Corey J. Walton

Unit: U.S. Army North “Fort Sam’s Own” 323nd Army Band
Duty Title: Musician, Tuba
“I am very excited for the opportunity to represent the Army during Fiesta. Being part of ‘Fort Sam’s Own’ 323d Army Band. I never expected to have this awesome opportunity. As band members, we see the JBSA Military Ambassadors at many of the same Fiesta events representing the U.S. military services. Becoming an Ambassador gives me the chance to dive deeper into the true meaning of Fiesta and interact a lot more with the people of San Antonio. Last year was one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my Army career and to cap it off with such an honor from my command is incredible. I look forward to representing all Soldiers stationed here in Military City USA. Viva Fiesta!”

U.S. Marines Military Ambassadors

Sgt. Dominique J. Rudisel
Rank/Name: Sgt. Dominique J. Rudisel

Unit: 4th Reconnaissance Battalion
Duty Title: Warehouse chief
“I am truly honored to have been selected to serve as a 2022 Fiesta Ambassador for the U.S. Marine Corps. I am still very new to San Antonio, as I just arrived in the summer of 2021. I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be a part of San Antonio’s largest celebration. I look forward to witnessing the city come alive and experience this annual tradition. Viva Fiesta!”

Sgt. Grant Finkbeiner
Rank/Name: Sgt. Grant Finkbeiner

Unit: 4th Reconnaissance Battalion
Duty Title: Dive chief
“It is a great honor and privilege to be selected as a Marine Corps Ambassador for San Antonio’s 2022 Fiesta. I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity to experience and learn about San Antonio’s prestigious traditions and world-renowned heritage. I’m looking forward to meeting the people of San Antonio and participating in their historical culture.”

U.S. Navy Military Ambassadors

Petty Officer 1st Class Henson A. Chiong
Rank/Name: Petty Officer 1st Class Henson A. Chiong

Unit: Navy Medicine Training Support Center
Duty Title: Division 6 Leading Petty Officer and Hospital Corpsman
“It is an honor to be able to represent the greatest naval fighting force in the world as a Military Ambassador. It brings me great pride and joy to bring both the local civilian and military communities together, for together we are stronger and more cohesive as one.”

 Petty Officer 1st Class Samantha Teliczan
Petty Officer 1st Class Samantha Teliczan

Unit: Navy Information Operations Command Texas
Duty Title: Classification advisory officer, 10 Department Leading Petty Officer
“It is a great honor to be selected as a Fiesta 2022 U.S. Navy Ambassador. I am grateful to my peers, subordinates and mentors for molding me into a leader for many to aspire to. To take part in something so meaningful to the community of San Antonio and so rich in culture and heritage is something I never thought I’d get to do. This community has been amazing to me, my family, and all the military that it truly makes me believe they work hard to be Military USA. I look forward to representing the Navy and taking part in the festivities.”

U.S. Air Force Military Ambassadors

Staff Sgt. Daniel Velasquez
Rank/Name: Staff Sgt. Daniel Velasquez

Unit: 802nd Security Forces Squadron
Duty Title: Unit security manager
“I feel very blessed to be selected as a 2022 Fiesta Air Force Military Ambassador for Military City USA. Coming from a strong and proud Hispanic family, it is an incredible honor to fill this unique role! It has always been on my bucket list to take part in San Antonio’s unique history and culture and find it surreal that I am going to Fiesta while being a representative for the world’s greatest Air Force! Viva Fiesta!”

Staff Sgt. Clarissa Scott
Rank/Name: Staff Sgt. Clarissa Scott

Unit: 344th Training Squadron
Duty Title: Military training leader
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a 2022 Air Force Ambassador! As a San Antonio native, I grew up celebrating Fiesta through a young child’s perspective (lots of candy and confetti!). Now as an adult, I hope to not only show how dedicated the military is to the community but also experience all the wonderful one-of-a-kind events that make up Fiesta!”

U.S. Space Force Military Ambassador

Master Sgt. Edin Olano 
Rank/Name: Master Sgt. Edin Olano 

Unit: 390th Cyberspace Operations Squadron
Duty Title: Targeting analyst
“It is truly a privilege to serve in our nation’s armed forces. As the first Ambassador for the United States Space Force, I look forward to engaging with the local San Antonio community on exciting developments in our nation’s armed forces and the Space Force. I am appreciative that San Antonio continues to thrive and enjoys its partnerships with our nations’ military. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in all of the 2022 Fiesta events. It will be a much-needed celebration for the city and citizens living in the city.”

U.S. Coast Guard Military Ambassadors

Petty Officer 2nd Class Casey W. Travers
Rank/Name: Petty Officer 2nd Class Casey W. Travers
Coast Guard Cryptologic Unit-Texas
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen to represent the United States Coast Guard. Throughout this process, I aspire to make my service and my country proud by wearing this uniform for all those who have sacrificed. It is an opportunity I do not take lightly and I am eager to participate in an event that holds so much culture and heritage. Let the festivities commence! Viva Fiesta!”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Yulianis Chevere Rodriguez
Rank/Name: Petty Officer 3rd Class Yulianis Chevere Rodriguez
Coast Guard Cryptologic Unit-Texas
“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen as a Coast Guard Ambassador for Fiesta 2022. I am excited to be a part of this tradition and get to see firsthand San Antonio’s culture, people and heritage. I look forward to celebrating the spirit of this amazing city while representing Coast Guard men and women everywhere. Viva Fiesta!”