President Donald Trump on Monday awarded medals to seven members of the National Guard for their role in rescuing campers caught in a wildfire.
The president awarded seven National Service members the Distinguished Flying Cross medal, speaking in front of the helicopters used in the rescue.
“To each of you, your unyielding and undying determination lifts our nation,” Trump said. “You’re what makes our nation great.”
Hundreds of campers were surrounded by the Creek Fire that suddenly engulfed the surrounding forest on the night of September 5.
The National Guard troops flew helicopters into the area using special sensors and night vision goggles to reach the stranded campers through the blinding smoke, rescuing 242 from the flames.
Despite calls for them to turn back, the troops made three daring trips to rescue stranded families from the campground. The crews spent ten hours in the series of daring rescues.
The president noted that 48 hours later, the crew conducted a similar rescue of 50 people from the fire after two failed attempts.
“Our nation is strong because of remarkable individuals like these service members,” Trump said.