Hill Air Force Base honors employee with Department of Defense Award

Posted at 5:15 PM, Oct 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-16 20:05:36-04

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Friday, Hill Air Force Base honored one of its employees who has a disability with the Department of Defense Award. Layton resident Patricia Barson has physical limitations due to being separated from her conjoined twin 32 years ago.

Barson works at the Taco Bell on base. Her employers say she has a selfless, can-do attitude and works hard to serve her customers. The award she got Friday is a prestigious one. They only give out a few every year.

“It has been quite a journey,” Barson said.

Barson was separated from her conjoined twin, Ashley, 32 years ago.

“During one of the surgeries, I automatically stopped breathing, I was all purple and my other half was all pink and happy and all that stuff,” Ashley Barson said.

The twins were conjoined at the head and suffered from total vertical craniopagus. Their mother says it’s a miracle her daughters survived.

“To us, it’s an incredible blessing, and we just feel totally blessed and honored to have these two girls in our lives,” Kathie Barson said.

Friday morning, the Army and Air Force exchange awarded Barson with the Department of Defense Award.

“It’s my honor to be here, to have this opportunity to be able to present this honor and say thank you very much for all you do,” Air Force Commander Dana Pelletier said to Patricia during the ceremony.

Patricia’s boss says Patricia always has a positive attitude and lifts up those around her.

“Anytime any of the crew members in the back or anybody in general is upset or not feeling too good, she just comes around that corner and she just has this infectious smile on her face,” Taylor Kipp said.

Patricia said she loves her job and feels fortunate to receive the award.

“I am honored and blessed,” she said. “That’s all I can say, is I’m honored and blessed.”

As part of her award, Patricia received a plaque signed by several commanding generals and will be taking a trip to Washington D.C. with her sister, where they will be attending a prestigious award dinner.