Friday, April 18, 2014

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Rochester

Medical Ambulance Unit Honored After Returning from Deployment

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Rochester: Medical Ambulance Unit Honored After Returning from Deployment
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For these guys, being a hero is simply putting on their uniform and doing their jobs.

"This is like the army's version of a mercy flight," said Staff Sergeant Kelly Buchanan of the 169th General Support Aviation Battalion.

"Between the pilots and the crew chiefs and the medics, it was just amazing the work that they did," she said.

That work Buchanan is talking about, is the 471 life saving missions the air ambulance company completed.

"Some days are harder than others. None of them are easy," said pilot Steve Polis of the 169th GSAVB.

All the more reason why Polis and 38 members of the 169th General Support Aviation Battalion were recognized Saturday.

"We carried 527 patients and flew a total of 1,600 hours, and so my medics in the rear were absolutely amazing," said Major James Pridgen of the 169th.

One by one, handshakes and awards were given for the completion of a successful ten month deployment to Afghanistan.

"We rely on our training and each other's comradery and the support we get from home to make it happen," said Polis.

That support was also awarded. Family and friends not only watched, but some were even honored for a service they don't quite sign up for.

"It's nice to be recognized definitely, being without them when they are gone," said Steve's wife, Terri Polis.

Unit members say to complete their medical missions took a team, and it's a job of great reward.

"We just went over and did what we signed up to do," said Buchanan.

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