Staff Sergeant Johnnie O. Yellock II comes from a dual Veteran family and was raised in Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after receiving his college degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. Staff Sergeant Yellock was a certified air traffic controller, trained static line and free fall jumper, as well as a U.S. Army qualified combat scuba diver.
Staff Sergeant Yellock’s second deployment was to Paktika Province, Afghanistan. On July 6, 2011, an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle, injuring both of his legs. He applied tourniquets and continued to assist his team by providing helicopter landing zone guidance to MEDEVAC himself and his interpreter to the nearest hospital.
Staff Sergeant Yellock received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Action Medal for his actions that day. He spent the next three years in rehab at BAMC in San Antonio and has endured 30 limb-salvage surgeries to-date. His ankles were ultimately fused in place and he’ll wear adaptive leg braces for the rest of his life.
Staff Sergeant Yellock continued to play golf throughout his recovery process and was invited to compete in the 2013 Warrior Open. Yellock would describe that as “a life changing opportunity for fellowship with other service members in the company of our President”. Johnnie was medically retired, with a 100% full and permanent disability rating, from active duty on November 27, 2013.
Staff Sergeant Yellock spent the last two years serving veterans, fellow wounded service members and Gold Star families through various non-profit works. In 2016, he began a career in the insurance industry. Staff Sergeant Yellock enjoys public speaking and encourages other veterans to share their stories and experiences. He champions the Mark Forester Foundation (www.MarkAForester.com) to honor his best friend who was killed in action.