KCF Hall of Fame to shine spotlight on Toboz
(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series meant to introduce the Keystone Central Foundation’s members of the first class of the Keystone Central Hall of Fame.)
MILL HALL — The Keystone Central Foundation Alumni & Friends Association is pleased to introduce each inductee into the first class of the Keystone Central Hall of Fame.
Inductees will be honored at a ceremony at Central Mountain High School on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 at 5 p.m. Tickets, congratulatory messages, and ads can be purchased for the event program at www.kcfoundation.com or calling 570-660-1306.
Stephen “Turbo” Toboz
LHHS Class of 1987
Petty Officer, Stephen “Turbo” Toboz, currently of Virginia Beach, Va. is a decorated retired U.S. Navy SEAL. A 1987 graduate of Lock Haven High School, Stephen Toboz was honored by Lt. Colonel Oliver “Oli” North with a Defender of Freedom Award. He is also the recipient of a Purple Heart, Silver Star with Valor, Bronze Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation.
A dual athlete in football and wrestling at LHHS, Turbo went to Clarion to wrestle his freshman year.
He took his athleticism to defend his country and completed the toughest training in the military, BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training. He succeeded and became a member of an elite unit of Navy SEALS.
In 2002, Toboz was a part of Operation Anaconda, one of the first large-scale battles fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. His team was on a mission to secure an OP (observation post) in which the CH-47 Chinook helicopter took an RPG and 30+ rounds of small arms fire resulting in his teammate Neil “Fifi” Robert’s falling out of the helicopter and surrounded by Taliban terrorist fighters. The helicopter crash landed 7,000 meters away from the mountaintop and they immediately knew they were going back under some of the most adverse conditions any person could or would endure to rescue their brother.
The meaning “Never leave a man behind” is true and held highly to these warriors. Toboz and his fellow SEALS took a new helicopter to rescue their captured teammate.
The snow was deep, the temperatures were below freezing, and they were deep in Taliban territory. Turbo was shot in his left leg. His ankle was shattered, and he later discovered the bullet was lodged under his big toe. Turbo lost nearly three liters of blood, but refused morphine so he could continue to provide cover for the rest of his unit. He battled and fought for 18 hours before he could evacuate the area with ALL of his brothers.
After numerous surgeries, Turbo made the decision to amputate his shattered leg. Turbo wanted redemption for himself and his brothers. He worked out even harder knowing he would return to his teammates with a mission to fight those who took so much from him. He returned to his team nine months later and was victorious over those who changed his life forever.
Turbo served a few more years and retired with honor, integrity, perseverance, and dedication to our great country. He is a civilian now and works as a training manager for the Department of Defense.
Turbo was honored in August of 2021 with the naming of the First Island Bridge to the “Petty Officer Stephen “Turbo” Toboz Jr. Bridge.” He has attended the Army/Navy Game with Lt. Colonel Oliver “Oli” North and President George W. Bush, where Bush gave him a hug and a kiss for his service to his country.
Toboz currently lives in Virginia with his wife Linda and daughter Bianca.
Full tributes for all inductees can be found at kcfoundation.com. Others honored in the Class of 2022 include: Harris and John Lipez, Yvonne Weaver, Howard Peters, Malcolm Heimer, and Rich Wykoff.