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November 29, 2006

Pilot Earns Distinguished Flying Cross

Someone you should know, if you haven't seen this elsewhere. I'm sure the NYT didn't find it newsworthy.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2006 — Back in March in Iraq , Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill, with the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, was piloting her Kiowa Warrior when the lead chopper came under heavy fire. She drew the fire away, simultaneously providing suppressive fire for the troops engaged with the enemy on the ground.

A rocket-propelled grenade hit her, damaging the helo’s instrumentation, but instead of focusing on her predicament, she established communication with the ground forces and continued to provide them with aerial weapon support until the soldiers reached safety.

As she turned her attention to the aircraft, which was losing hydraulic power, the helo took on machine-gun fire, a round crashing into one of Hill’s ankles. Still,

with a damaged aircraft and an injury, she landed at Forward Operating Base Normandy, saving her crew and aircraft.

For her actions she was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by Vice President Richard Cheney at Fort Campbell , Ky. , on Oct. 16.

Vice President Richard Cheney presents the Distinguished Flying Cross to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill in a ceremony at Fort Campbell , Ky. on Oct. 16. U.S. Army photo


Vice President Richard Cheney presents the Distinguished Flying Cross to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill in a ceremony at Fort Campbell , Ky. on Oct. 16. U.S. Army photo


“It’s was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to get the award and then have the vice president come and award it to you,” she said. “It’s just incredible for any soldier.”


Recalling that day in March, Hill reflected, “I was actually just glad I didn’t pass out and very happy I was able to help the ground guys out, and get our helicopter down safely on the ground.”

Right hand to the right eyebrow, Chief.

Comments on Pilot Earns Distinguished Flying Cross
Trias briefed on November 29, 2006 10:17 AM

Through distraction, fear and pain. Quite commendable.

I wonder if diggers are allowed to these events. That'd probably be an honour too.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 29, 2006 10:28 AM

If I understand your comment to mean "regular troops" vice "Aussie troops," - the people in the background of the photo are a wall of diggers.

That medal was awarded in front of a lot of people, by a VIP, as I expect you were hoping.

Cricket briefed on November 29, 2006 10:54 AM

It is people like her who validate my belief that we have the best armed forces.

Huzzahs to the young lady. I read this to my children. Coming here is like getting history, social studies and war stories all in one.

Outstanding John. I think BillT will want a lock of her hair.

TMZ briefed on November 29, 2006 12:41 PM

Awesome! Truly, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill is an American woman to admire. Why isn't she making the news? Oh, that's right -- Britney Spears went out on the town without underpants, so that's a much bigger story. :-/

AFSister briefed on November 29, 2006 01:55 PM

yeah... but women aren't tough enough to make it in battle. BAH! *pokes 'em in the eye*

That's outstanding, John.
And honestly, it wouldn't have mattered to me if the pilot was female or male- a display of courage under fire is simply a display of courage under fire. I do, however, hope that those who believe women shouldn't be on the battlefield need to read this.

NOTR briefed on November 30, 2006 01:49 AM

I find it curious that this was just released out of CENTCOM. Lori got her award in October. Always nice to see a KiwiWarrior pileit get recognized for what these heroes do.

Trias briefed on November 30, 2006 04:18 AM

Oh yes the Vice President is indeed a VIP and i did see at least a few soldiers in the background of the photo.

What I meant was veterans. Perhaps people who have recieved such honours before but are no longer in service.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 30, 2006 06:36 AM

I sent them a note regarding "timeliness".

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 30, 2006 06:44 AM

Trias - that would really have been dependent on who was around the area at Fort Campbell, I guess. That and how wired the Protocol Office is, or the commander setting up the award ceremony.

And there may well have been some in the crowd.

I suspect, with the exception perhaps of the Medal of Honor (our Victoria Cross equivalent) it wouldn't be a 'first thought' - the tendency is to try to make sure the serving soldiers know about it.

We have two Medal of Honor holders here in Leavenworth, Roger Donlon and Chuck Hagemeister. I know they are on the list of people the Fort uses to invited people for certain kinds of events, but I don't know what the types of events are.

My personal thought about that is - if I were a highly decorated vet (which I'm not) and I was invited to a ceremony like that, it would depend on the overall focus and intent of the event. The last thing I'd want to do is become a center of attention - because that should be the recipient. So I might well want to attend, but just as one of the crowd.

But that's just me.

Boinkie briefed on November 30, 2006 09:12 PM

Linked to my blog.
Guess the MSM is too busy writing about Brittany Spears than real heroines...