Airman receives Soldier's Medal

Release Number: 040315

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Master Sgt. Matthew Garcia, 55th Rescue Squadron special mission aviator, pose for a photo after a medal presentation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 25, 2015. Welsh presented Garcia with the Soldier?s Medal for his act of heroism that saved the lives of two pilots who were injured after landing their helicopter on an improvised explosive device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Master Sgt. Matthew Garcia, 55th Rescue Squadron special mission aviator, pose for a photo after a medal presentation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 25, 2015. Welsh presented Garcia with the Soldier?s Medal for his act of heroism that saved the lives of two pilots who were injured after landing their helicopter on an improvised explosive device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski/Released)


Master Sergeant Matthew A. Garcia was presented the Soldier's Medal by Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III, Mar. 25. 

While deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Garcia saved the lives of two pilots who were critically injured after landing their helicopter on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.  Garcia jumped 10 feet from his helicopter into hostile territory and a field of IEDs to provide lifesaving emergency care and move the two pilots out of the line of fire.

Garcia is a special mission aviator with the 55th Rescue Squadron.