BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Soldiers and friends of Task Force Falcon, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Task Force Poseidon, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, gathered Sept. 13 to honor the life and service of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Keith F. Rudd, a flight medic with All American Dustoff.
Rudd, a native of Winder, Ga., arrived, with his unit, to eastern Afghanistan in August to replace 10th CAB’s medical evacuation company.
“If Rudd was your medic, you could be rest assured of two things,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Smith of Savannah, Ga., a colleague and friend of the fallen medic. “One, he would come to get you without hesitation. Two, he would not stop until you were safe and in good care.”
Rudd joined the Army May 2003 and completed initial training at Fort Sill, Okla., and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He served in Fort Lewis, Wash., and Fort Stewart, Ga., before being assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C., May 2011. His previous deployments include Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009, a tour with 3rd CAB’s medevac company which 10th CAB replaced August 2010.
“As a flight medic, Staff Sgt. Rudd performed with distinction, courage and honor, and he saved countless lives,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dennis McKiernan, TF Phoenix commander. “He had a distinguished career with two combat tours in our nation’s global war against terror.”
Rudd recently became the unit’s senior medical trainer said U.S. Army Maj. Graham Bundy of Sussex, Wis., and All American Dustoff commander, who added that he was fortunate to meet Rudd when he was in another unit.
“He struck me as a no nonsense non-commissioned officer,” said Bundy. “He had heard we were deploying again and wanted to be on our team. He did not disappoint us at all. He will be truly missed.”
Rudd’s decorations include the Air Medal with numeral 3, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 5 OLC, Army Superior Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, national Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-commissioned Officer Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Medical Badge and Army Aviator Badge.
He is survived by his two daughters, Christine and Brylea, and his father, Donald Rudd.