WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The USO is holding their annual gala Friday evening to recognize the contributions of exemplary representatives of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the noble act one military officer demonstrated when a fighter jet crashed into a Virginia Beach apartment.

This year the annual gala is being held at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Ave. and will feature celebrity appearances by singer Jordan Sparks, reality TV star Jennifer Behm and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

The evening’s events, which begin with a welcoming reception and formal dinner, will be concluded with an after party where an estimated 1,000 guests – including the above-mentioned celebs and a cast of local dignitaries made up of U.S. Congressmen, various military leaders and media members – will pay tribute to men and women in uniform who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

One of those honorees – Petty Officer 2nd Class, Nicholas A. Beane of Virginia Beach – is being recognized as the USO Coast Guardsman of the year for the valor he demonstrated on Apr. 6.


Officer Beane was off duty visiting a friend when the F/A-18D crashed into the apartment building where he was staying. When he heard the explosion, Beane immediately ran to the impact site, knocking on doors along the way making sure everyone evacuated the building safely.

virginia beach jet crash 620x350 Celeb Studded USO Gala to Honor Va. Beach Navy Jet Crash Hero

Virginia Beach Jet Crash (Credit: WTKR/Kara Mitchell)

As he was making his way to the downed jet, he encountered one of the aircraft’s pilots, who was still attached to his parachute and caught on the building’s roof. Beane cut down the pilot – who was suspended just a few feet from the flames – checked him for injuries and moved him out of harm’s way.

Once they escaped the danger zone, another explosion went off forcing them to relocate.

He later had to be treated for smoke inhalation he received while concerning himself with the lives of others.


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