SSgt Justin Tite, a HH-60 aerial gunner, receives the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. SSgt Tite earned the medal for his actions during a six hour sortie in Afghanistan.
The Distinguished Flying Cross can be awarded for achievements in aviation or for heroism in aerial combat.
- SSgt Justin Tite Soundbite: “I don’t take this award of like necessarily of just what I’ve done. I think it’s more or less for the community itself. Uh, there is people out there right now doing the same exact missions day in and day out doing the twenty-four hour operations in Afghanistan. So, I mean, I think this award should go out to everyone in our community with the amount of pressures and stresses they’re put under on a daily basis.”
Airman Tite’s crew reached the crash site as dawn was breaking and conducted the first pararescue team insertion to the survivor’s location. During the second insertion, his wingman was engaged by enemy fire which damaged the aircraft and injured a crew member. Airman Tite covered their egress and supported ground teams with close air support as they became pinned down by enemy fire.
- SSgt Justin Tite Soundbite: “You get desensitized to picking up patients. I mean, that’s your job, you’re there to get others out of a horrible situation. I mean, you’re pretty much their saving grace if you can ,uh finish the mission as you’re supposed to, but once it actually hits home, I mean, I guess it’s just a little bit different.
Ultimately, his bravery and professional airmanship while calling approaches to precision hovers and returning fire on a determined enemy during the six hour sortie resulted in life-saving rescue of two soldiers and the recovery of another from the field of battle.
- SSgt Justin Tite Soundbite: “It’s definitely something I do think about from time to time, but it’s more of a, I’m more proud of what we do as a community. Not just necessarily what I do, it’s our community as a whole is the best community I’ve ever been a part of. It’s one of the closest tight knit families I’ve ever been a part of, aside from my actual family. ”
The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty by Airman Tite reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
- SSgt Justin Tite Soundbite: “The motto for the recuse community is “That Others May Live” and I think that every individual in the rescue community truly lives by that motto.”
(Clapping) Available in High Definition.
|Date Posted:||07.12.2012 16:31|
|Location:||NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NV, US|
|Hometown:||JACKSONVILLE, IL, US|
This work, SSgt Justin Tite Receives Ditinguished Flying Cross with Valor, by SrA Aaron Hauser and Colleen Urban, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.