Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Domestic Rescues

Combat Rescue - Pararescue Jumper - PJ - Special Operations...  when people mention or talk about what these individuals do they automatically think about dropping into a war zone and pulling out a downed pilot, a shot soldier or an injured Marine who stepped on an IED.  Very true, they do all of that, and more.  However, what many don't realize is what they actually do when they are not in the war zone.  Okay yes, they train, and train, and train some more.  Not a day goes by that they are not working on bettering themselves, physically or mentally, in order to do their jobs better.  But wait there is more....

June 2013 in  Mt Hood, Oregon, 4 PJs and a CRO (Combat Rescue Officer) were called up from the 304th Rescue Squadron to participate in an on-going search and rescue mission of a lost hiker.  The Hiker was an experienced hiker from Salem, OR had gone missing. Earlier in March they responded to a missing female hiker and in 2012 the 304th were called upon and also, again assisted in the search and rescue of a missing hiker.  The 304th flew over 100 missions during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 in hopes to find survivors and rescue them.


374th Expeditionary Rescue Group PJs airlifted nearly 3000 people from the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina.  Hours after the storm slammed the area the pararescuemen were called upon and worked the clock 24 hrs a day pulling hundreds of people to safety daily and taking them to nearby hospitals.

212th Rescue Squadron of Alaska perform hundreds of search and rescue missions every year, saving lives of those there in Alaska.  They work diligently with the 176th Wing and their sister units; the Alaskan State Troopers, Coast Guard, and Civil Air Patrol.  The extreme climate of this area requires extreme training.


The domestic, civilian or home missions, how ever one may call it are happening every day.  I could place link upon link, showing story upon story of the hundreds of lives that these men rescue and save every year.  One live saved effects many.  Think of the mother, father, brother, sister, wife, husband, children awaiting for their loved one to come home.  They went for a hike, nothing they don't do on a regular basis, but this time they didn't come home.  This time they didn't hear from them, this team, this one time they may never see their loved one again.  The worry, the fear, and then... the overwhelming gratitude that is felt when they receive that call, that notification or overhear it over the radio.  "we have him"  "he has been spotted"  "he is alive" "we are bringing him in"

Thank you for all you do - "that others may live"