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Mar 27, 2014 3:00:00 PM

Five Battlefield Heroes Honored at D.C. Gala

Armed Services YMCA Awards Five Corpsmen and Medics Who Heroically Saved Lives

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

RESIZEDcoverchangedforweb21.jpgFive heroic medics and corpsmen were honored as ‘Angels of the Battlefield’ at a special gala last night sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA. The two women and three men were chosen for their exemplary talents as life-saving military personnel and their dedication to service. The “Angels” represent each of the five service branches of the U.S. military, and were chosen by their respective Service Chiefs. More than 300 guests, including senior military and enlisted service members, gathered at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C. to honor the 2014 heroes at the 8th annual gala.

"Thanks to the remarkable advances in battlefield and post-battlefield medical care, a great many more of our nation's service men and women will be with us for decades to come. And yet, despite the monumental improvements in methods, technology, and techniques of medical intervention, it's the faces behind the care that our wounded warriors ultimately recognize as their lifesavers . . . the heroes of the heroes," remarked, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James A. "Sandy" Winnefeld, Jr., who delivered the keynote address.

The 2014 Angels include:

  • SGT Kristopher Ritterhouse, a 26-year-old Army medic from Bullhead, AZ, who continued to provide medical treatment for others, after being seriously injured himself in a battle in Afghanistan. Despite his own injuries, he returned to search for more casualties while under-fire.
  • HM1 Kevin Toland, a 32-year-old Marine corpsman from Atlanta, GA, who triaged and treated patients saving many lives, when an IED (improvised explosive device) hit a local bazaar in Afghanistan.
  • HM2 Michael Marchante, a 26-year-old Navy corpsman from Murrieta, CA, who treated a severely wounded soldier in Afghanistan while under active fire. Marchante used his body to shield the victim from further injury.
  • HSN1 Janet Combs, a 31-year-old Coast Guard corpsman from Miami Beach, FL, who has treated hundreds of patients including two rescued from the water when their helicopter went down, a critical stroke victim, and many others. She is known for motivating her personnel and compassion for her patients and their families.
  • SrA Taylor Renfro, a 23-year-old Air Force medic from Jacksonville, IL, who has both provided life-saving treatment, and received it. She was saved by another medic when her vehicle was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan.

The Gala featured entertainment by country music star, Savannah Berry, finalist from NBC’s the Voice, and Grammy Award winner, Kristian Bush.

“These are the men and women that risk their lives each day, so our service members make it home to their families,” says Mike Landers, President and CEO of Armed Services YMCA. “Recognizing them for their sacrifices and tremendous sense of valor is one small way to demonstrate how grateful we are for their service.

The Armed Services YMCA is a top-rated 501 (c) (3) charity. ASYMCA provides services and support programs for junior enlisted service members and their families at 45 of military installations across the U.S. They offer childcare, wounded warrior support, spouse and deployment assistance, and other programs to help make military life easier. For more information on ASYMCA, visit