Log In   ·   Become A Member

Westhampton Free Library Selects Technical Sergeant James Dougherty As December Hometown Hero

Anastasia Lennon

WFL Trustee Mitchell Schecter, WFL Director of Operations Laura Spillane, WFL Director Danielle Waskiewicz, December Hometown Hero James Dougherty, VFW Post 5350 Commander William Hughes, and Chief Legislative Aide for Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming. (Photo: Liz Sutton)

At the end of 2016, the Westhampton Free Library announced its 2017 initiative of honoring local veterans each month throughout the year. The library's first honoree was Korean War veteran Peter Cuthbert.

The library is closing out its initiative with its final honoree of 2017, James Dougherty, a thirty year-old technical sergeant of the 106th Rescue Wing. He has been a pararescueman for the past eight years and has served overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. He is married to fellow 106th Staff Sergeant Lauryn Armusewicz, and together they have two sons.

"The Westhampton Free Library is honored to recognize Mr. Dougherty as its December Hometown Hero. Mr. Dougherty is a true American hero and role model," said library director, Danielle Waskiewicz, who spearheaded the idea with library trustees Mitchell Schecter and Mary Anne Yutes.

Dougherty enlisted a year after graduating from high school, and soon after became a full-time pararescueman--following in his father, Chief Master Sergeant Dougherty's, footsteps. "We start at boot camp - basic training - at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. From there we go to the pararescue indoctrination course, a ten-week selection course. It's ten weeks of calisthenics, swimming, running and water confidence," said Dougherty in an interview with the library.

As a result of his training, he is an accomplished swimmer and diver who described snorkel training as something akin to James Bond, "007" work. He was one of seven of 120 pararescue students to successfully graduate from his military parachutist school class.

Following his parachuting training, Dougherty completed an Air Force Pararescue EMT course in New Mexico and received EMT-Paramedic certification. His final chapter of training involved jumping out of a plane, traveling to a patient, stabilizing patient for transport, and moving to another site for pick up. Upon completion of this test, airmen are qualified for assignment to any Pararescue unit worldwide and earn the maroon beret.

Mr. Dougherty graduated in 2009, and ten months later was sent to Iraq for five months. Upon returning home, he continued his training with ice climbing in Colorado, technical rope rescue, recovery dive training, and high surf training in Hawaii. In fall of 2011, he was deployed to Afghanistan to treat serious and critical injuries. "We would fly three to four missions per day doing those rescues. There was a lot of bad stuff, a lot of amputations - very traumatic injuries from pressure plate IEDs," said Dougherty. "We did a lot of good work there - very advanced medical treatment for paramedic level providers."

Most recently, Dougherty used his exemplary rescue skills on the homefront in Texas as a responder during Hurricane Harvey. He flew to Texas with the 106th Rescue Wing and surveyed the land looking for people stranded in the floodwaters. The first day, they made 19 rescues and in total rescued more than 500 people in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Currently, Mr. Dougherty is serving as the Junior Vice Commander at VFW Post 5350 in Westhampton Beach. In 2013, he was one of six New York Air National Guardsmen to receive the Bronze Star of Valor for his courage during a mission in Afghanistan.

The Westhampton Free Library is a not-for-profit with the mission of serving the community, cultivating knowledge, and inspiring lifelong learning. For more information and to see the library's 2017 honorees, please visit http://westhamptonlibrary.net/.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

WordHampton Public Relations
We build client revenues and reputations. Our reputation is built on delivering a strong media presence and, as a result, demand for our clients' offerings, resulting in a positive impact on sales. Successful campaigns start with understanding the goals of our clients and developing a customized strategy that will achieve those objectives.

Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez.
Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez after she experienced learning English as a second language upon relocating to New York.