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171st medic honored in D.C.

April 2011 --      Senior Airman Candice Cook, 171st Medical Group medical technician, was honored on behalf of the Air National Guard for her deployment to Iraq and other military humanitarian missions at the 5th Annual Angels of the Battlefield Gala in Washington D.C., Mar. 31.

     The event was sponsored by the Armed Forces YMCA where Cook was one of ten recipients representing branches of active duty, reserve and guard military services in the medical technician and corpsmen career fields.

     As it is stated throughout the event program and with the guest speakers, the ceremony was to honor medics and corpsmen that deployed and volunteered in saving lives while simultaneously risking their own  "These dedicated individuals give of themselves, day in and day out, in support of our Soldiers Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen," said Cook.

     Being deployed was a learning experience," continued Cook.  "I interacted with the active duty and was the only female when I was overseas; and it is greatly appreciated to be recognized," said Cook proudly.

     The ceremony was a huge gala, where Cook was able to meet her functional and other higher ranking individuals from the Guard Bureau and hue Air Force.

     "I couldn't believe I was able to sese people from the Guard Bureau and even take my picture with General Swartz," said Cook excitedly.  If it wasn't for being honored, I probably would never meet the leadership, especially being a senior airman."

     Cook wanted to be in the military as a medic not only to part of something and follow in her father's and grandfather's footsteps, but to learn about the medical field and help others.

     "I am proud to be a part of the military because of what it represents to me; I was always grateful for the sacrifices that my grandfather and father made for our family," described Cook.

     "It was such an honor to receive this award and attend the event," said Cook.  "The term 'Angels,' which is what the medics and corpsmen were called gave a different meaning and it is something of a good fealing."