WASHINGTON, March 25, 2013 —It’s hard to imagine a job more challenging than rescuing an injured person from a combat situation, but that’s what Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) do every day. As the show “Inside Combat Rescue” on Nat-Geo airs its final episode tonight at 10 p.m., it is important not to forget these brave men, or the dangers they face in service to their country.
Not only do Air Force Pararescuemen extract wounded from the battlefield, they are also an integral part of rescue operations within the United States. Those crazy people we all see on the evening news dangling out of helicopters and dropping into dangerous situations to rescue civilians are also PJs.
The motto of Air Rescuemen is “That Others May Live.” (TOML) This simple and elegant declaration that encompasses their mission statement is also the name of the charity that looks after fallen comrades and their loved ones.
In response to an earlier article about “Inside Combat Rescue,” I was contacted by Colonel Todd Worms, a member of the Air Force Rescue community. Through him I was put in touch with the Deputy Executive Director for Operations of TOML, Laura Lerdall. Correspondence with Ms. Lerdall and interviews with rescue personnel provided incredible insight into their world.
Many thanks to Lt. Col. James “Yogi” McElhenney, USAF (retired), rescue helicopter pilot and TOML Foundation Executive Director and MSgt. Mark Lerdall, USAF (retired), Pararescueman for taking the time to contribute to this article.
“That Others May Live Foundation” was created in 2002 following two incidents involving the 66th Rescue Squadron in Las Vegas, NV. The first incident involved a mid air collision of 2 HH-60G Pavehawks over the Nellis AFB range in 1998, resulting in the loss of life of 12 rescue personnel including pilots, flight engineers, gunners and PJ. The second was on a C-130 attempting to land in unsuitable conditions in Kuwait in 1999, killing another pilot from the 66th Rescue Squadron.
The realization that the loved ones who are affected by such tragic losses need financial as well as emotional support was the motivation for the creation of “That Others May Live.” The foundation provides immediate relief to the families of fallen rescue personnel, as well as long-term support in the form of scholarships for their children.
The way this country treats its veterans is shameful. The fact that these brave men and women and their families are forced to seek additional financial support in the private sector is yet another indication of a country that has lost sight of what’s most important. Until our elected officials come to their senses, maybe as grateful Americans we should lend a helping hand.
Please take the time to visit the TOML website. Let these patriots know their service is appreciated and their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
“That Others May Live” website: http://www.thatothersmaylive.org/default.html
All times are EST:
ABC: Dancing With The Stars: (Live) The couples perform for the judges.
CBS: How I Met Your Mother: (New) Future versions of Ted and Barney try to convince Ted to go see Robots Versus Wrestlers. Meanwhile, Marshall challenges Robin to a dance-off.
FOX: Bones: (New) An undercover police officer who was investigating ATM robberies is murdered and found with a bag of diamonds inside his mutilated body. Meanwhile, Brennan’s stiff personality is no asset when she’s the subject of a documentary commissioned to raise money for the Jeffersonian.
NBC: The Voice: (New) In the season premiere, new coaches Shakira and Usher battle Blake and Adam to discover the singer with the talent to take it all.
CW: The Carrie Diaries: (New) Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) jumps at the chance to a take on a fabulous new identity as Larissa (Freema Agyeman), but gets more than she bargained for when Larissa’s hijinks catch up with her. After a whirlwind day in Manhattan, Walt (Brendan Dooling) is forced to face the feelings he is desperately trying to hide.
CBS: Rules of Engagement: (New) Brenda gets Jeff and Audrey to help cater an event at Columbia University. Audrey tries to impress the attendees, but it’s Jeff’s bartending skills that wow the crowd. Meanwhile, Russell enthusiastically embraces Timmy’s Bollywood culture.
CBS: 2 Broke Girls: (New) Han fires Caroline after she insults his diner and Max tries to mend their relationship.
FOX: The Following: (New) Joe sends two followers to capture Claire; Jacob’s reunion with Emma is less than ideal; someone from Ryan’s past reenters his life.
CW: Hart of Dixie: (Repeat) Wade prepares for the Battle of the Bands contest and sets his eyes on the prize money, but Zoe’s suggestion that George also participate proves unwise. Elsewhere, Lemon spends the weekend bonding with Magnolia; and Lavon assists Tom with his love life.
PBS: 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School: (New) Chronicling a year at Washington Metropolitan High School in Washington, D.C., an inner-city school where, on any school day, about half of the students don’t show up. Second-year principal Tanishia Williams Minor features in the documentary.
CBS: Mike and Molly: (New) Molly joins her sister on a spring break road trip to party with Victoria’s friends from junior college. Meanwhile, Mike pulls strings with his boss to get special overtime assignments in hopes of making extra money.
ABC: Castle: (New) When a body is discovered in an industrial cake mixer, the murder is traced to an Irish gang and a bar owner named Siobhan O’Doul (Cara Buono); Detective Ryan reveals a history with Siobhan from his time working under cover in narcotics.
CBS: Hawaii Five-0: (New) When threats turn deadly against a tour company that endangers the local shark population, Five-0 faces the difficult task of narrowing down the suspect list. Meanwhile, the team debates whether or not Kamekona will earn his helicopter license.
NBC: Revolution: (New) Having harnessed the power of the pendant, Monroe sets out to obliterate the Rebels.
New episodes of:
Fast ‘N Loud: Revved Up at 8 p.m. on DSC
Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout at 8 p.m. on NGC
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at 8 and 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Being Human at 9 p.m. on Syfy
Fast ‘N Loud at 9 p.m. on DSC
Love it or List it at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Dallas at 9 p.m. on TNT
Bizarre Foods America at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Welcome to Myrtle Manor: Doublewide at 8 p.m. and 9:10 and 10:18 p.m. on TLC
Storage Wars at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on A&E
Bates Motel at 10 p.m. on A&E
L A Shrinks at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
The Devils Ride at 10 p.m. on DSC
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV
Teen Mom 2 on MTV
Inside Combat Rescue at 10 p.m. on NGC
Monday Mornings at 10 p.m. on TNT
Hotel Impossible at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
Lizard Lick Towing at 10 p.m. on truTV
House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV
For movie lovers:
Get Carter on ENC
Camp on FLIX
Push on FMC
Apocalypse Now on IFC
Training Day on SUND
Strange Lady in Town on TCM
The Wedding Planner on ABCFAM
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on HBO
Battleship on HBO
Barabbas on REELZ
Full Metal Jacket at 9:45 p.m. on ENC
Chernobyl Diaries at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Heavyweights at 10 p.m. on FLIX
Her Twelve Men at 10 p.m. on TCM
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