At the June 22nd General Meeting, Legislator Bridget Fleming presented an all-18 Proclamation with her colleague Legislator Al Krupski to the airmen of the Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing, who on May 20th, led a courageous rescue mission that saved a woman on a sailboat 1,200 miles off shore suffering from second and third degree burns.
The crew took off from Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach at 8 AM on Friday morning to locate the woman. The mission was arduous and took approximately nine hours to finally locate her. To aid the woman, they dropped two packages of medical supplies one at a time to be used for her burn wounds. They circled the sailboat while the victim was on the radio with the crew translator who relayed the gratitude of the woman, whose primary language was Spanish.
“The bravery of these men and women saved a woman’s life and stands as a reminder of how our military service members, on both land and sea, help keep our communities safe. We here at the Suffolk County Legislature thank you immensely,” said Legislator Fleming.
Image (from L-R): Chief Master Sergeant Craig Connor (Loadmaster), Lieutenant Colonel Sean Garell (Aircraft Commander), Captain Nicholas Napolitano (Pilot), Legislator Bridget Fleming, Legislator Al Krupski, Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Lawhon (Combat Systems Officer), Senior Airman Jocelyn Tapia Puma (Spanish Translator), Master Sergeant Michael Cruz (Crew Chief), Airman First Class Bryan Valverde (Crew Chief)