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Air Force Featured Stories

ANG members recognized for heroic efforts

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Six members of the Air National Guard were presented Meritorious Service Medals during a ceremony at the Pentagon Aug. 19, for their heroic efforts that saved a person’s life at the Lincoln Memorial June 4.

Maj. Telisha Johnson, Capt. Lauren Sutherland, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Nicholas, Staff Sgt. Emanuel Morales, Staff Sgt. Jacen Vaughan and Airman 1st Class Santiago Martinez Jr. during a civil unrest mission responded to a cry for help in Washington, D.C. The Airmen rushed to the scene where they found an unconscious jogger lying on the ground, face down, gasping for air with a weakening pulse. They immediately assessed the situation, performed CPR and would determine the use of an automated external defibrillator was necessary to save the jogger’s life.

These Airmen were also recognized by Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy for their actions while supporting an Army operation. 

“Today we gather to celebrate the life-saving efforts of six members of the D.C. Air National Guard,” Barrett said. “Because of their swift response, an unconscious and injured civilian ultimately returned to their family. Their teamwork is an example of the Air Force value of service-before-self that permeates the Department of the Air Force.”

With only one service member with a medical background, the training of the other service members allowed them to properly respond and care for the patient until the medical evacuation team’s arrival. 

The Meritorious Service Medal, established in 1969, recognizes these individuals for their meritorious noncombatant service to the United States. Their actions went above their line of duty, and their instinctive actions directly assisted in the saving of a person’s life. 

For the full story of the heroic effort of the Airmen from the D.C. Air National Guard click here