TOML – Helping our Heroes

On May 1st, I announced on Facebook that, after searching for the right fit, I have teamed up with That Others May Live Foundation.

 

Over the years spent with Nic, Cruz, Rick, DQ, Clancy, Cowboy and Gabe, I have yearned to be able to help my USAF Rescue heroes in some way.

There are so many good charities that help our military. But only That Others May Live is dedicated to helping those in the USAF Rescue community.

It's a perfect fit.

So began the Buy A Book Help a Hero program – where I will give a portion of the sale of every #TrueHeroes book to this amazing Foundation.  Please visit the website for more information. 

Very grateful to my #TrueHeroes and their families for the sacrifices they make every day.  Very grateful to my new friends at That Others May Live Foundation for helping my heroes.  Glad to help in any small way I can.

 

Countdown to True Heroes – Day 5

Senior Airman Jason Cunningham

True Hero

Jason was 26 years old, an Air Force PJ.

The battle is called Roberts Ridge, named for Neil Roberts, a SEAL who had earlier been thrown from a helicopter that was downed by enemy fire.  Roberts was stranded on Takur Ghar, a 10K foot mountain in Afghanistan.

Two rescue helicopters were sent in to rescue Neil, but they were too late.  Neil was dead.  The two helicopters were quickly disabled by the guerrillas and a 17-hour battle began.

Our hero, Jason Cunninghan and Army medic Cory Lamereaux gave medical care to the wounded.  Jason moved his wounded team mates three times, each time coming under enemy fire while doing so. 

As the enemy moved in, both men fought off the attackers.  Both men were shot.  Lamereaux was hit in the belly but survived. 

Jason was shot in the small of his back, through his pelvis.  The bullet shattered his liver.  He was really ticked about the whole thing and said he couldn’t believe they shot him. 

Lamereaux and anotheJason Cunningham funeralr medic knew Jason needed surgery immediately.  They worked to save him as the commander called for help. 

There would be no help for hours, until after dark when it was safer.

Nothing the medics did could keep Jason from slipping away.

The former sailor, who had become an Air Force pararescueman because he wanted to help others, died at 6 p.m.

The medivac arrived 90 minutes later.10531494_114833270022

Jason Dean Cunningham is buried at Arlington Cemetery.

Jason was a True Hero that day.  But not just that day.  He fought to save lives every day of his PJ career.  One battle he won changed field medicine forever.  Jason spearheaded the battle with the DoD to get blood products into the prehospital setting – first in the military and now in civilian emergency systems.  There is no way to know how many lives Jason Cunningham saved because of his determination to push that through. 

Certainly more than the ten he saved on Roberts Ridge.

United_States_Air_Force_Pararescue_Emblem_'That_Others_May_Live'