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Keith M. O'Grady


Airman's Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Airman's Medal to Master Sergeant Keith M. O'Grady, United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life at Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 13 January 2010 to 23 January 2010. During this period, Sergeant O'Grady led an eight-man rescue team conducting repeated heroic actions following the earthquake that devastated that nation. Arriving at Port-au-Prince aboard the first American military plane to land just 26 hours after the earthquake, he worked to extricate, triage, treat and evacuate deeply entombed victims. Sergeant O'Grady voluntarily risked his life by crawling for miles with concrete breakers, digging bars, and his bare hands to save as many victims as possible. The tunnels he worked in were extremely dangerous, unsupported, and susceptible to secondary collapse from both undermining and recurring aftershocks. He crawled over decomposed bodies, through leaking body fluids and unbelievable stench, in spaces smaller than a coffin, for hours at a time. Sergeant O'Grady's team was credited with 13 live rescues from under tons of rubble, advanced medical care of 27 patients and transfer of 18 patients to trauma centers. By his courageous action and humanitarian regard for his fellowman, Sergeant O'Grady has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Order G-015 (October 2, 2012)

Action Date: January 13 - 23, 2010

Service: Air Force

Rank: Master Sergeant