Tucson adds another hero to their list | Community Spirit
Tucson is home to many heroes, the latest is Master Sergeant Angela Blue, stationed at Davis-Monthan. She has been recognized as a 2012 Portraits in Courage recipient, by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.
Sergeant Blue was one of 20 selected from over 690,000 active duty, National Guard, Reserve and civilian personnel currently serving in the Air Force. The Portraits in Courage is a national program that showcases Air Force personnel who have demonstrated bravery and heroism while deployed, by repelling enemy fire, assisting injured comrades and aiding civilians on rescue missions. Here is Sergeant Blue’s story:
In June 2011, then Technical Sergeant Angela Blue deployed to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Sweeney in Shinkai District, Afghanistan, as an aeromedical technician for Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul. One month into her deployment, the base came under attack and was showered by 80-millimeter mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and machine gun fire. Sergeant Blue, the lone medic for her 250-man team, received a radio request to report to the Afghan National Army (ANA) side of the compound. Three local nationals had been hit by shrapnel and were in need of assistance. Once on scene and while still under attack, Sergeant Blue triaged the wounded, while she simultaneously directed additional medical care and arranged for medical evacuation (medevac). While Sergeant Blue tended to her patients, awaiting medevac, she noticed a patient bleeding from his already bandaged leg. She promptly applied a second tourniquet to stop the bleeding until the medevac arrived. Although the patient later lost his leg, his life was saved due to Sergeant Blue’s attentiveness and decisive actions.
Toward the end of her deployment, Sergeant Blue and her team were tasked to go on a resupply mission to FOB Atghar. As the team approached the edge of a mountain, the ANA field commander directed several Afghan soldiers to clear the route. Approximately 10 minutes later, there was a loud explosion. An Afghan Humvee transporting four soldiers had triggered a pressure-plate improvised explosive device (IED). Sergeant Blue ran to the Humvee, performed initial triage, and directed the team to treat other casualties with less severe wounds. She immediately tended to the driver who had open fractures to both of his lower legs, severe head injuries, and third-degree burns to his body. Sergeant Blue placed a tourniquet on one leg and instructed a teammate to place one on the other leg. Upon further evaluation, she noticed that the patient’s breathing was labored and his vitals were diminishing, so she directed a Romanian medic on the scene to begin intravenous drips. As the patient’s vitals improved, Sergeant Blue continued to monitor all four patients until the medevac arrived. Despite their traumatic wounds, all of the Afghan soldiers survived. Three hours after treating casualties from the first IED, the truck in which Sergeant Blue was riding struck another IED. Sergeant Blue sustained combat-related injuries and needed to be medevac-ed herself.
Sergeant Blue was awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal for her actions while under enemy fire and a Purple Heart for her injuries during combat. She was additionally awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Combat Action Badge, and the Army Combat Medical Badge for her actions while deployed.
For more information about Portraits in Courage, please visit the website: