Air Force Captain Barry Crawford will receive the Air Force Cross tomorrow in a ceremony at the Pentagon. This prestigious medal is reserved for the most heroic of deeds, and is second only to the Medal of Honor.
Crawford, a special tactics officer who graduated from the Air Force Academy, is no stranger to valor. He already has the Combat Action Medal for risking his life under fire in direct engagement with the enemy, along with a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor and two devices. A native of Philadelphia and a member of the Maryland Air National Guard, Crawford will receive the Air Force Cross for heroic actions in Afghanistan that saved many lives.
Crawford braved hour upon hour of withering enemy fire two years ago to call in air strikes and save American ground troops that were ambushed by a huge enemy force. He put himself at great risk, maneuvering in open terrain to fire his own weapon and bring in the helicopters and bombers necessary to defeat the enemy force.
Air Force Magazine has the story and the citation, both of which are riveting reading.
Wow. Just.... wow.
Update: Here is the transcript of a press conference with Captain Crawford. Here is an audio of his appearance on today's Pentagon-sponsored Bloggers' Roundtable.