Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Military medical heroes honored for service above and beyond

Four military personnel shown during a Zoom call Four of the awardees participated remotely during the Angels of the Battlefield Awards ceremony held virtually in Washington, D.C this October. (DoD Courtesy Photo.)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Some awards are meant to be put on a resume; the reasons for those given to real heroes should be seared into the collective memory.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark. Milley recently noted, the service and sacrifice of heroes is “a core strength of our military's resolve and skill."

On October 27, medics, corpsmen, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel were were recognized for putting those fabled strengths into action at the Armed Services YMCA's 14th annual Angels of the Battlefield Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The awards are given for selfless courage and unwavering sacrifice for actions from the past and present. Angels are nominated from each service for saving lives on the front lines overseas or during emergencies at home.

At age 100, the ‘Angel of Honor’ was bestowed on former Army 2nd Lt. Regina Benson, a member of the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, and the country’s oldest military nurse. From 1944 to 1946 she served in Army hospitals in the Pacific Theater, including during the Battle of Okinawa and the post-war occupation of Japan. “I made sure that my patients never died alone,” she remembered, “I was always there with them.”

Air Force Staff Sergeant Nicholas Brunetto, served as a medic with the Army Green Berets team when they were ambushed at close range in February 2020 in Afghanistan. Brunetto not only managed the evacuation of nearly a dozen patients while under attack, but also perform a blood transfusion while under enemy gunfire to save a soldier’s life. Brunetto later said he had not expect being awarded for his service: “A lot of it was just being there and doing a job I had volunteered for.”

Navy Hospital Corpsman First Class William McGrath, was attached to a Fleet Marine Forces team in January 2020 in East Africa, where he served as both as a shooter and as a medic in the face of an enemy attack on an American command center and airfield. McGrath not only saved the life of a wounded team member, but treated multiple injured firefighters and security forces.  “You’re a medic first and a shooter always,” McGrath recalled, “Your jobs really go hand in hand once there is a casualty.”

Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Second Class James Chandler saved a woman’s life during Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 by performing CPR on her for over 30 minutes. An immigrant from England, he came to the U.S. to play pro football, but gained hero status upon becoming a citizen and rescue swimmer in uniform. “Looking back … two things come to mind: Very fortunate that I was able to fly on that case with such a great crew and also just very humbled in regard to how precious life is. … There’s no doubt in my mind that I have the best job in the world.”

Army Sergeant First Class Kyle Wagner, a combat medic on a mission in Afghanistan in June 2013, was just one week into his deployment, when an IED exploded10 feet from him. Injured and unable to hear, he organized the medical evacuation while searching for casualties, pulled other soldiers to safety and started triage. “We will do whatever it takes to save our guys … because we care; that’s what we’re here for.”

The identity of a Navy Seal based in California remains confidential, due to the sensitive nature of his current deployment. He was recognized for tending to more than 200 patients during an overseas mission from 2019 to 2020. “I wish I could share how appreciative I am in person,” he wrote to those attending the ceremony, “However, I am currently deployed.”

You also may be interested in...

TCCC ASM CM Student Registration Form

Form/Template
4/7/2021

Students must complete this form to register for the course. All forms are emailed to the DMRTI TCCC Section for processing.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Course Information | Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course (TCCC)

TCCC ASM CM FAQ Sheet

Fact Sheet
4/7/2021

Additional information about the TCCC ASM CM course for potential students to review.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Course Information | Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course (TCCC)

Drawing blood, giving back life: techs support medical readiness

Article
2/22/2021
Military health personnel wearing a mask drawing blood from military personnel wearing a mask

Two of the military’s blood technicians say their work is vital and rewarding.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Combat Support

Order of Military Medical Merit presented to USU medical student

Article
2/19/2021
Military personnel receiving the Order of Military Merit

Army 2nd becomes the first USU medical student to receive the Order of the Military Medical Merit.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

DMRTI_EWSC Student Criteria

Fact Sheet
1/8/2021

A reference for potential EWSC students.

Recommended Content:

Emergency War Surgery Course (EWSC) | Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute | Combat Support

Barksdale AFB trains medics with Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Article
12/30/2020
Military personnel participating in training exercise, treat a dummy for injuries

Medics of the 2nd Medical Group are becoming a whole lot more lethal, in a good way.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Protecting the Force: How the MHS helped sustain readiness in the face of COVID

Article
12/23/2020
Hospital personnel treating a patient on a stretcher

The Military Health System is reviewing how it kept warfighters mission-ready and units online in 2020 during the ongoing pandemic.

Recommended Content:

December Toolkit | Combat Support | Coronavirus

Nurse-led research aims to improve battlefield medicine

Article
12/21/2020
Military nurses working on a simulated patient in a helicopter

[O]ne of their goals is to create novel solutions to optimize survival and functional recovery of burn casualties.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Research and Innovation | Nurses Week

Military medicine confronts an invisible enemy

Article
12/4/2020
Medical personnel set up in an outside military tent

The collective response to the pandemic underscored the MHS reputation for innovation, with practical applications beyond military medicine.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Warrior Care | Public Health | Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask | December Toolkit

New report finds military hearing health is improving

Article
12/3/2020
Military doctor inspecting patient's ear

Noise-induced hearing loss is decreasing for active-duty service members.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Hearing Loss | Hearing Center of Excellence Research Coordination Directorate | Hearing Center of Excellence

DGMC medical study looks at plant-based diet

Article
12/3/2020
Man wearing mask and gloves putting container of salad into salad bar

Researchers measured important cholesterol, weight and blood pressure markers at baseline and at 4-weeks.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Nutritional Fitness

METC improves surgical tech training with new laparoscopy standard

Article
12/1/2020
Surgical team in operating room

A laparoscopy is a low-risk, non-invasive surgical procedure used to examine organs inside the abdomen and repair or remove tissue.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Technology

BAMC recognized by American College of Surgeons for outstanding care

Article
11/27/2020
Medical team, wearing masks, rushing a patient in a hospital bed down the hallway

“BAMC provides more complex care to the nation than any other military treatment facility..."

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support | Clinical Quality Management | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals)

NMRTU Everett staff collaborate to ensure Patient Centered Care

Article
11/16/2020
Image of two military personnel wearing masks

NMRTU Everett was commended by the MHS 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.