COMBAT MEDIC BADGE -- (House of Representatives - May 03, 2005)
(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, the combat medic badge was first awarded in 1945 to medics who served in combat while in or attached to a combat unit. As times changed, the role of the medic changed with them. In Vietnam, medics served in units, but some also flew in helicopter medical evacuation ambulance units, called medivacs.
DUSTOFF was the call sign that we gave this mission, and they saved nearly a million people during the Vietnam war by flying unarmed onto the battlefield to treat and save our wounded soldiers, most often under fire.
The average DUSTOFF medic treated nearly 2,000 troops in a 1-year tour. Currently, there is no unique way to honor these brave men and women. Although they flew in and out of combat every day, they are not eligible for the combat medic badge, because they were not attached to a combat unit; often the medivac unit was another unit.
And my friend and colleague, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden), has legislation to correct this by directing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines to develop the combat medivac badge. The badge will be awarded to anyone who has served in combat as a pilot or crew member of a helicopter medical evacuation ambulance since 1950.
I urge the body to pass this, give the DUSTOFF veterans the honor they deserve.