Seven Atlantic City aviators awarded Air Medals for meritorious achievement

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Abdallah shakes the hand of Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of the Coast Guard’s 5th District, after receiving the Air Medal during an award ceremony at Air Station Atlantic City, April 2, 2019. Abdallah was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in actions taken during his deployment to Hurricane Harvey. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Johnson

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Abdallah shakes the hand of Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of the Coast Guard’s 5th District, after receiving the Air Medal during an award ceremony at Air Station Atlantic City, April 2, 2019. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Johnson

PHILADELPHIA – Seven Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City aviators were awarded Air Medals by Rear Adm. Keith Smith, commander of the Coast Guard’s 5th District, for meritorious achievement during a ceremony, Tuesday.

Lt. Kevin Smit, Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant Mcgahee and Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Register were recognized for their combined teamwork, skill and meritorious achievement in rescuing a heart attack victim from the fishing vessel Settler more than 60-miles offshore in challenging flight conditions and low visibility on May 22, 2017.

Lt. Andrew Cinque, Petty Officers 2nd Class Brandon Abdallah, Jordan Gilbert, and Christopher Wilson were cited for their meritorious work with Texas-based response agencies to rescue and aid numerous people in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

“I am truly honored to recognize the skill and bravery of these exceptional Coast Guardsmen for their heroic actions,” said Smith. “Their commitment to placing themselves in harm’s way in order to protect the public is truly inspiring and embodies the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.”

The Air Medal was created May 11, 1942, to recognize service members for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in flight in all branches of service including the Civil Air Patrol. Notable recipients of the Air Medal include Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn, Chuck Yeager, Oliver Stone, Andy Rooney and more. In the Coast Guard the Air Medal is awarded by the Coast Guard Commandant.

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