Trump Awards California Guardsmen ‘Patriots’ Who Rescued More Than 200 Trapped By Wildfire

Trump Awards California Guardsmen ‘Patriots’ Who Rescued More Than 200 Trapped By Wildfire

As wildfires blaze across California and Oregon, President Trump awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, “a military decoration that recognizes heroism and extraordinary achievement,” to seven of California’s National Guard who risked their lives to save others from a large wildfire.

“Our nation is strong because of remarkable individuals like these service members,” President Trump said. “In the midst of our greatest trials and biggest challenges, America prevails because of the brave and selfless patriots who risk everything.”

Last week, Chief Warrant Officers Joseph Rosamond, Kipp Goding, Irvin Hernandez, Brady Hlebain, Ge Xiong, and Sergeants George Esquivel and Cameron Powell of the Guard flew a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and a UH-60 Black Hawk into the Mammoth Lake Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest to rescue campers surrounded by one of California’s raging wildfires.

Despite difficulty flying through smoke, the Guard rescued people, “many of whom were badly burned and injured.” Over 10 hours, “they flew back into the blazing fire to rescue more victims” against their superiors’ judgment multiple times.

“Today we honor their courage,” Trump said. “Our nation has really benefited from their bravery.”

“We are proud of them,” he added.

The ceremony took place in McClellan Park, California, where Trump also engaged in a roundtable discussion with California leaders about the raging fires.

While many leaders expressed their concern that climate change is contributing to the fires, Gov. Gavin Newsom also expressed his gratitude to Trump for responding to the wildfire crisis in California quickly.

“I want to thank you and acknowledge the work that you’ve done to be immediate in terms of your response to our FMAG requests,” Newsom said through a mask.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
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