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Randall E. Lopez


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 Airman First Class Randall E. Lopez, United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life near Masirah Island, Oman, on 9 August 2002. On that date, Airman Lopez and Sergeant Hall swam to the rescue of a desperate and exhausted fellow airman. Senior Airman Patrick Noote. Airman Noote was swimming in the Arabian Sea off the shores of Masirah Island, Oman, when he realized he was being carried further from the shoreline due to intense riptides. Struggling to get back to shore, Airman Noote was overcome by crashing waves, swallowed seawater on three occasions, and was pulled underwater on at least four occasions. Exhausted and nauseous, he feared he would soon drown. Upon hearing his desperate cries for help and without hesitation, Airman Lopez and Sergeant Hall swam against the strong riptides and waves to reach Airman Noote. Realizing Airman Noote was exhausted, Airman Lopez forfeited his own body board to keep Airman Noote afloat. Through their perseverance, Airman Lopez and Sergeant Hall were able to safely pull Airman Noote to safety. Without their courageous actions, Airman Noote would not have made it to shore. The exemplary courage and heroism displayed by Airman Lopez reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: August 9, 2002

Service: Air Force

Rank: Airman First Class