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In This Issue:
A distinguished captain and proud member of the 439th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Mark Bialas, RN, BSN, assisted in transporting the wounded to U.S. Army and Air Force medical treatment facilities from hostile locations while serving in Northern Iraq and Kuwait. During his missions, he was under sporadic enemy missile attack and successfully evacuated combat casualties with life-threatening injuries.
These heroic efforts earned Bialas the Bronze Star, the eighth highest award from the U.S. armed forces. Bialas, of BWH's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, was recognized for his superb performance in ground operations as Flight Clinical Coordinator of Joint Special Operations Task Force North and Joint Operations Task Force Viking.
Working in extreme heat during the day and harsh conditions at night, Bialas routinely transported soldiers after dark, with the hot engine of the helicopter running and the propellers spinning just feet over his head. “This was the greatest thing I have ever done and I would do it all over again, in even worse conditions, if it meant to get those who were injured to the medical care they needed,” he said.
The citation, which accompanied this medal, states: “The exemplary leadership, personal endeavor and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Bialas in this responsible position reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”
Of his honor, Bialas said, “I look at those who were awarded the Bronze Star from their service in Vietnam and World War II and I am just so humbled to share this high honor.”