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Tennessee National Guardsmen honored for medical evacuation

May 18, 2022 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Four members of the Tennessee National Guard were honored recently for a lifesaving medical evacuation in the Smokies.

The members of the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion responded last June after a 17-year-old girl was attacked by a bear while camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The girl was seriously injured, and park rangers called the guard to airlift her to a nearby hospital, according to a news release.

The four-man crew out of Louisville consisted of Capt. Philip Webster, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Andrew Redley, Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Banta and Sgt. Timothy Allen. They received the Star of Life award from the Children’s Emergency Care Alliance of Tennessee on May 4.

“We are proud of what we do here,” said Capt. Hulon Holmes, a facility commander. “We don’t do it for the recognition, but it’s great to see our Guardsmen being rewarded for their efforts.”