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.