[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 175 (Wednesday, November 16, 2011)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2065]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  HONORING LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE G. DONA, MAJOR MARY O. JENNINGS 
  HEGAR, SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT STEVE R. BURT, AND TECHNICAL SERGEANT 
  TIEJIE A. JONES UPON RECEIPT OF THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS WITH 
                                 VALOR

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. ZOE LOFGREN-

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 16, 2011

  Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge and 
honor Lieutenant Colonel George G. Dona, Major Mary O. Jennings Hegar, 
Senior Master Sergeant Steve R. Burt, and Technical Sergeant Tiejie A. 
Jones upon their award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.
  The Distinguished Flying Cross is America's oldest military aviation 
award. In 1926, the 69th Congress established the Distinguished Flying 
Cross to honor any person serving in the Armed Forces who distinguishes 
him or herself ``by heroism or extraordinary achievement while 
participating in an aerial flight.''
  On July 29, 2009, Lieutenant Colonel George G. Dona, Major Mary O. 
Jennings Hegar, Senior Master Sergeant Steve R. Burt, and Technical 
Sergeant Tiejie A. Jones evacuated three United States soldiers injured 
when their convoy was attacked near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. 
Colonel Dona and Major Hegar were injured when a bullet pierced their 
aircraft's window, injuring Major Hegar's arm and Colonel Dona's leg. 
Despite the heavy fire, the pararescue team departed the aircraft to 
assist with the medical evacuation. However, the aircraft was forced 
out of the landing zone. After several minutes airborne, Major Hegar 
and Colonel Dona voluntarily risked their lives to return and rescue 
their patients and pararescuemen from the ambush.
  While still under attack, Sergeant Jones assisted with loading the 
casualties and Sergeant Burt aided the pilots during takeoff to keep 
the aircraft functional. Due to fuel loss from the number one engine, 
the crew had to land less than two miles away. Sergeant Burt 
administered first aid and assisted in the transfer of patients to 
another aircraft. Their bravery saved three patients and ensured the 
survival of the crew.
  It was my honor and privilege to recognize Lieutenant Colonel George 
G. Dona, Major Mary O. Jennings Hegar, Senior Master Sergeant Steve R. 
Burt, and Technical Sergeant Tiejie A. Jones at a ceremony while I was 
home in my district. The outstanding heroism displayed deserves great 
recognition by the entire United States, the nation they have so 
selflessly served. Lieutenant Colonel George G. Dona, Major Mary O. 
Jennings Hegar, Senior Master Sergeant Steve R. Burt, and Technical 
Sergeant Tiejie A. Jones have the respect and gratitude of all 
Americans.

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