Later this week in Seattle at the Pacific Northwest Awards Dinner, the Coast Guard Foundation will honor two helicopter aircrews with an award for heroic action following a daring cliff-side rescue of a critically injured hiker on Mount Rainer in Washington, in July 2012. The operation spanned eleven hours in the dark of night.
The co-pilot of one of the helicopters, LCDR Joshua Nelson, will not be in attendance in Seattle, as he is attending training school at the Leadership Development Center in New London, Connecticut.
Yesterday, Coast Guard Foundation Senior Vice President Brad Sisley made a surprise appearance at his class to present him with his award. RADM Dean Lee, the Deputy Commandant for Response Policy and Capability, read the crews’ citation and recognized LDCR Nelson for his work in the case.
“It is a real honor to present Commander Nelson with his award this morning”, said Brad Sisley, Coast Guard Foundation Senior Vice President. “We are disappointed that he won’t be able to join us in Seattle, but understand his operational commitments at this time. When we learned that he would be here in New London, it made perfect sense to bring the award right to him. It was great to see him recognized in a room of his peers for his brave and heroic work.”
In accepting the award, Commander Nelson said, “This was entirely a team effort…the aircrew is going to the Foundation dinner this week, but the folks back in the command center did just as much. Thank you… I was one part of a whole case and I was just very grateful we were able to bring back everybody alive.”