Cliff & Travis discuss the importance of highlighting heroic stories of our veterans during “Thank You For Freedom” segments. They highlight 3 stories of veterans who demonstrated selfless acts during their service, to save lives and protect others around them.

Capt. Kim Campbell: Early in the Iraq war, on April 7, 2003, ground forces ran into trouble on the North Baghdad Bridge. Enemy fighters had blocked the site, with allies advancing. A-10 fighter pilot and then-Capt. Kim Campbell was called in to provide air support. Campbell, call sign “Killer Chick,” deployed explosive rockets and scored a direct hit. But returning from that weapons pass, her A-10 sustained heavy damage. The jet rolled left, pointed toward the ground. Nothing Campbell did worked. She had lost all the jet’s hydraulics. At that point, Campbell flipped the jet into manual reversion—still with no steering, no brakes—regained control, flew the jet more than a 100 miles back to Kuwait, and became one of just a handful of people to land an A-10 manually. Lt. Col. Campbell was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for her efforts.

Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor: Posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor was defending the position of SEAL snipers with a machine gun against insurgents on a rooftop in an insurgent-held part of Iraq in September 2006. The snipers thwarted the insurgents’ first attempt, but during the continued assault, an insurgent grenade reached the roof and bounced off Monsoor’s chest. Monsoor immediately called, “GRENADE,” and jumped on it to absorb the explosion with his own body—even though he could have escaped the position. Monsoor died shortly after the explosion. He saved the lives of two other SEALs.

Petty Officer Juan Rubio: During a New Years Day dismounted patrol in 2006, the platoon Petty Officer Juan Rubio was assigned to was ambushed by insurgents who detonated explosives and fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Rubio “crawled through open terrain,” according to his citation, exposing himself to enemy fire, to provide aid to multiple injured Marines. Rubio himself was injured. “[He] told me I was hit, and I said, ‘No, I’m not – it’s other people’s blood,'” he told Stars and Stripes, “and he goes, ‘No, doc, your pants are ripped and I can see it! Holy s-! Doc’s hit!'” Rubio worked “simultaneously on three urgent surgical casualties” and coached other Marines through procedures, all while under fire. He then exposed himself again to enemy fire to evacuate the casualties. He was awarded a Silver Star for his efforts.

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