Crewmember of the Year

On 8 April 2002 at 0625Z, a nine-line MEDEVAC request for 5 patients with injuries sustained from a grenade blast was received by the 50th Medical Company. At 0640Z the aircraft departed Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Approximately 40 minutes after take-off, contact was established with call-sign Playboy 90, who advised of enemy activity. After landing, SGT George Hildebrandt departed the aircraft to evaluate the patients, while SGT Forwood provided aircraft security.

While on the ground, SGT Hidebrandt and SGT Forwood reported hearing small arms fire from the right side of the aircraft. Within five minutes, the three most critical patients were loaded onboard, and the two least critical were loaded onto the escort aircraft.

After departure, SGT Hildebrandt further assessed the patients instructing the crewchief to begin rescue breathing for a patient who had severe injuries to his head, left arm, and left leg. A second patient had shrapnel wounds to his neck and lower legs. The third patient had shrapnel wounds to the posterior side of his body. The first patient was intubated prior to being loaded into the aircraft. He was still spitting up blood and became combative due to his head injuries.

While constantly evaluating all three patients’ conditions, SGT Hildebrandt ensured that the most critical patient’s blood pressure remained viable with added I.V.s, despite his veins collapsing. Throughout the flight, SGT Hildebrandt fought to keep his patients alive.

Arriving at the Forward Surgical Team, SGT Hildebrandt quickly gave them the patient status and vital conditions. All patients received surgery and will recover from the wounds. If not for the efforts of the entire crew led, by SGT Hildebrandt’s expertise, the most critical patient would probably have died from his sustained injuries. SGT Hildebrandt’s actions that day are but a part of the total soldier that he is. He reflects the DUSTOFF traditions in all he does.