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Del Norte JROTC Students Receive Silver Medal of Valor
Nine students credited with getting an injured chaperone and ill classmate to safety during a hike last fall.
May 1, 2012
Nine students with the Del Norte High School Air Force Junior ROTC were recently awarded the Silver Medal of Valor and will be recognized by Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry next week for helping a chaperone and fellow cadet who were injured and fell ill during a hike.
The students had embarked on their annual La Luz Trail hike in October when one of their chaperones got hurt and suffered from exhaustion, dehydration and stress. The chaperone’s son, who was one of the students on the hike, doubled back to help his father and also became dehydrated and ill.
The rest of the students in the group provided first aid to their chaperone and classmate under the direction of an experienced emergency medical technician via radio. With little or no search and rescue training, the students were able to assist both the chaperone and classmate off the trail, where they were able to be treated for their injuries and illnesses. Paramedics told the students that their level-headedness and teamwork proved critical in what was a life-threatening situation.
Based on their actions, the cadets were recommended for a commendation from the Air Force JROTC National Headquarters. The commander of Air Force JROTC agreed with the recommendation, and has awarded each of the nine cadets the Air Force JROTC Silver Medal of Valor. The Silver Medal of Valor is the second-highest award possible in all of JROTC. To qualify for this award, the cadets must act in an emergency situation where the loss of life or limb to the person or persons they aided would be certain.
"These nine cadets acted with professionalism, diligence and exemplary teamwork. Their ability to work together and follow explicit instructions spared a delayed and prolonged extraction of both patients, and the entire group as a whole. Their ability to remain together shows the true spirit de corps of teamwork and leaving no one behind," said their JROTC teacher Col. Mark Andersen.
The students who were honored are:
- Cadet Thomas Hogue
- Cadet Kevin Patterson-Schiff
- Cadet Ryan Meade
- Cadet Jordan Wheatley
- Cadet Jessica Brannan
- Cadet Colton Mighetto
- Cadet John Sanchez
- Cadet Jonnathon Zlotkin
- Cadet Avery Keene
The students will meet with Mayor Berry on May 11 at City Hall.