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Military
By USAF Sr. Airman Tong Duong

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EMDG Airmen�Integral To Medal Ceremony
(January 10, 2011)

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JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq (1/4/2011) -- Working as gently as they could, Airmen of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group intensive care and in-patient care unit, helped ready two injured soldiers for a Purple Heart ceremony, Jan. 4.

Airmen at the Air Force Theater Hospital who provide emergency care to stabilize and prepare servicemembers injured in the U.S. Central Commands area of responsibility for future medical attention take pride in what they do.

"All members in the intensive care and in-patient care unit play a part in the response to trauma in the facility and 'rise to whatever and whenever the occasion' to treat wounded warriors," said Maj. Charlotte Knight, 332nd EMDG intensive care unit and in-patient care ward flight commander who is deployed from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
Senior Airman Greg Rodgers, left, 332nd Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, visits recent Purple Heart recipient U.S. Army Cpl. Paul Vanlinder, Charlie Company 1-21 Infantry Battalion, Jan. 4, 2011. The Fulton, N.Y., native was admitted to the intensive care unit here after being involved in an improvised explosive device attack near Abu Sayada, Iraq. Rodgers is a native of Little Rock, Ark., and is deployed from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Keyonna Fennell)
Senior Airman Greg Rodgers, left, 332nd Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, visits recent Purple Heart recipient U.S. Army Cpl. Paul Vanlinder, Charlie Company 1-21 Infantry Battalion, Jan. 4, 2011. The Fulton, N.Y., native was admitted to the intensive care unit here after being involved in an improvised explosive device attack near Abu Sayada, Iraq. Rodgers is a native of Little Rock, Ark., and is deployed from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Keyonna Fennell)
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Robert Forte, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division deputy commander, presented the Purple Hearts to 1st Lt. Corey Bunch, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, and Cpl. Paul Vanlinder, a Fulton, N.Y., native. The soldiers of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, were injured just days earlier in an improvised explosive device attack.

"I am incredibly honored (to present the medals)," Forte said. "They risk their lives every day to do the missions required of them and are the very best America has to offer."

The two soldiers were on their way to train members of the 20th Iraqi army brigade when they were attacked near the city of Abu Sayada, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad. Forte, a Clifton Va., native, was grateful for the care his Soldiers received from hospital medical staff.

"The Air Force's care for our Army patients has been transparent ... it was smooth and no issues occurred," he said. "Our guys are getting good care."

Airman 1st Class Anastacia Barela, 332nd Expeditionary Medical Operation Squadron aerospace medicine technician who is deployed from Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., provided care for the two Soldiers and was glad she could contribute.

"I hate seeing our service members get hurt this way, so we make sure they are comfortable and can call their family or unit as much as possible," the Clovis, N.M., native said. "I'm proud of them, and it's an honor to not only witness, but be part of the ceremony."

Knight, a native of Florien, La., helped to stabilize the Soldiers' condition to prepare them for the event and was happy to see the two receive their medal.

"I actually responded and provided primary care to one of the members yesterday," Knight, also an Adjutant to Brook Army Medical Center, said. "It makes me proud to witness them being recognized for their ultimate service to our country."
By USAF Sr. Airman Tong Duong
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing
Copyright 2011

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