Salutes & Awards

April 26, 2012

Medical Group Tech. Sgt. awarded Purple Heart

Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Camilla Griffin/Released
U.S. Air Force Col. John Cherry, 355th Fighter Wing commander, awards Tech Sgt. Angela Blue, non-commissioned officer in charge of education and training, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action medal at Davis-Monthan Air force Base, Ariz., April 13.

Tech. Sgt. Angela Blue, 355th Medical Group non-commissioned officer in charge of education and training, was awarded the Purple Heart here, April 13.

Sergeant Blue was deployed to Forward Operating Base Sweeney in Shinkai District, Afghanistan in June of 2011 as a medic for Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul. She was the sole medic for a 250-man team. Toward the end of her deployment, Sergeant Blue and her team were tasked to go on a resupply mission to FOB Atghar.

“We were going down there because we were bringing them fire wood, food and water to get them through the winter season,” Blue said. “It gets really rough down there.”

Sergeant Blue was part of a convoy of 20 vehicles. In a three-mile span, four improvised explosive devices were found on the route.

“By the end of the mission, before my truck blew up, we had already cleared 12 IED’s,” Blue said. “The route was about 30 miles long. We knew we were in enemy territory, we knew the threat was high.”

Sergeant Blue recalls the explosion being in a narrow mountain pass and hitting her head in the blast. As she tried to stay conscious, her and her team lead held the door closed on their truck as her team took on small arms fire.

After eliminating the threat, Sergeant Blue was medically evacuated to the trauma unit at FOB Lagman. She was later sent to the Wounded Warrior unit at FOB Cafe. After a short recuperation period, she was able to return to work.

Now that she is back at her normal duty station and in a new position as NCOIC of education and training, she has the opportunity to tell Airmen around the base her story.

Col. John Cherrey, 355th Fighter Wing commander, presented Sergeant Blue with her Purple Heart medal during the 355th Medical Group commanders call.

“It’s definitely an honor to be part of the group of individuals who have been awarded the Purple Heart,” Blue said. “I don’t feel that I did anything phenomenal to deserve it. I feel like I went over there and just did my job.”

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