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Rescue Pilot Shares Her Touching Recollection Of Harvey Missions

Photo by Caroline White

At Avgeekery, we’ve watched and reported on the disaster of Hurricane Harvey and the multi-faceted efforts to rescue those affected.  While the human suffering is immense, there have been some amazing videos highlighting the heroism of first responders and by the activated National Guard and US Military.  Here’s our full recap of the coverage thus far:
43 States Have Sent Military Personnel To Help With The Aftermath Of Hurricane Harvey

These Are The Navy and Air Force Helicopters Supporting The Massive Military Assistance To Help Harvey Victims

Watch As The Military Converges On The Texas Gulf Coast In Response To Hurricane Harvey

Commercial Flights In Houston Come to a Screeching Halt After Hurricane Harvey, Airline Losses Expected

We started Avgeekery to share stories of pilots and aviators who do amazing things in the air. More than just news, we love to provide unique aspects of flight through personal stories by someone who was actually there. Caroline White, a pilot posted the following on Facebook this weekend.  She is a rescue helo pilot based in California. Her post of her experience is incredible.

“Air Force Rescue zero-five, can you accept a new tasking?”

….exploding Ammonia plant, bursting levys, active shooter at assigned Casualty Collection Point, rising water on first floor of nursing home with immobile elderly, pregnant mother on roof with children, hospitals turning away patients, calls for pick up with diabetic ketoacidosis, CHF, or bone fractures…

Many memories from this week. Accomplishing a rescue is a surreal feeling, but that is not what I will remember about this week. I will be thinking about the questions that have no answers. What happened to the boy in tasking 12A who was swept away in swift water from his family? Did he get picked up by a boat, a different helicopter, or should we have searched longer before taking a new tasking? Or the women pleading with my crew via text to come back and pick her up after we left to refuel: is there a delay in text reception or is she still waiting for us? Or our helicopter being swarmed at a low income housing development; who needs medical attention the most?

Hurricane Harvey has taken so much from so many. But it has given me something: gratitude. I am grateful that when I return to CA I will be able to sleep in my bed. I am grateful my dog was not trapped in a collapsing home. I am grateful that my husband will be there to give me a hug. And I am grateful for my squadron and the honor it is to serve.

You can see the full post and all of her photos below.  Be sure to give her a like and a share for sharing with us such a fantastic story.

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