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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By MCS 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh

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American Red Cross Honors Northwest's Real Heroes
(March 15, 2010)

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BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The American Red Cross held its 11th annual Real Heroes Breakfast to honor 20 military and civilian personnel for their heroic acts and humanitarian efforts with a breakfast and awards ceremony March 9.

More than 300 people from various organizations gathered together at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, Wash. to honor those being awarded.

Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) received the 2010 American Red Cross Commitment to Community Award for their involvement in humanitarian aid and disaster response missions, earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, multiple deployments and support of the local community through numerous volunteer projects.

"Our community is one that really pulls together," said Janet Heath, West Sound director at American Red Cross serving King and Kitsap counties. "It takes a lot of organizations to create a safety net, whether it is the military or non-profit organizations. We acknowledge Naval Hospital Bremerton because they not only are supporting us in warzones, but they are helping the community too. It's really about neighbors and community working together and I think that is what makes this a great county to be."

Cmdr. George Suther and Equipment Operator 2nd Class (SW/AW) Steve Buckner were named the American Red Cross Real Heroes in Workplace Preparedness for their efforts in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Donna Burt, an operations assistant at Naval Base Kitsap Public Works acquisition department, after she went into cardiac arrest March 2009. Suther and Buckner continued CPR until medics arrived and used automated external defibrillation to restart her heart.

"What mattered to me the most is that [they] gave me the comfort of knowing [they were] willing to help me," said Burt. "Everyone in the office did something to help. Red Cross also has really affordable effective training, so I encourage anyone to learn it. You may never know when you might need it."

Although not expecting the outward praise and recognition, Buckner, currently assigned to Construction Battalion Mobile Unit 303 Detachment Bangor, said he was grateful most of all that his efforts helped save a life.

"I don't think there was a single person here there doing this for recognition," said Buckner. "This was all very unexpected for me, and it's still soaking in. This brought back the memories of Donna's incident, but I'm happy she is doing all right; that's the biggest thing to me because everything worked out all right."

Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services' personnel Randy Hyde, Scott Berry, Shane C. Reed, Jeremy Huston and Matt Camier received the 2010 American Red Cross Real Heroes in Emergency Response Award for saving the life of a contractor who was pinned between an I-beam pier piling and a pillar after the 15-ton pillar fell from a crane, crushing her. The contractor lost her leg in the accident, but thanks to the efforts of these men, is alive.

"Today's ceremony is the community's way of personally paying our respects to the people who stepped in and did the right thing at the right time, whether they had Red Cross training or not," said Heath. "It's also our way of recognizing our community partners, law enforcement, the fire departments and other responders making sure their efforts are front and center and noticed by the community."

By Navy MCS 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh
Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det., Northwest
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Navy News Service

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