MOODY Air Force Base, Ga. - When American soldiers and airmen lie severely injured, pinned down by enemy fire and caught miles behind enemy lines with no visible means of escape, the don't lose hope because of the efforts of the son of a Martinez couple.
Air Force Airman Brett D. Godfrey, a services specialist, works in the base dining facility. Godfrey is a
member of the 347th Rescue Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and the son of Tye G. and
Terri Godfrey of Martinez. The unit is responsible for rescuing injured airmen during combat.
"These Things I Do That Others May Live" is the motto embraced by Air Force Amn. Brett D. Godfrey, son of Tye G. and Terri Godfrey, Ashbrook Circle, Martinez, and the rest of the members of the 347th Rescue Wing.
As the Air Force's only active combat rescue wing, Godfrey and his fellow airmen were charged with one of the military's most demanding missions - going into some of the most dangerous situations imaginable to locate, treat and extract survivors where more often than not the combat is still raging.
While it's the aircrews and pararescue people who go in to provide salvation to American service members in trouble, it takes people in all different types of jobs to make this mission work. Godfrey's part is as a services specialist.
"The services squadron is responsible for providing combat support and community service to the troops and their families at the base," said the 2001 graduate of Evans High School. "We provide food service, lodging, recreation and fitness, child development, youth services and mortuary affairs support to the people here."
The unit uses HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and HC-130 P/N aircraft to conduct day or night operations into hostile environments to recover downed aircrew or other isolated personnel during war.
The 347th's mission was brought to the attention of the American public in March when a pararescueman from the unit perished during a rescue mission in Afghanistan. For Godfrey, the event reinforces why the 347th is tasked with such a critical mission.
"I think our pararescue troops have the most important job," he said. "They spend the majority of their Air Force careers going all over the world rescuing people. How different would things be if our service members didn't have total confidence in the fact that someone will come to their rescue if they got into trouble behind enemy lines?"
The 347th's reputation as one of the most deployed wings in the Air Force was solidified after the attacks of Sept. 11. Members of the wing are deploying now more than ever, prompting Godfrey to reflect on how life has changed since that day.
"Since the attacks, my life has changed dramatically," he said. "I joined the Air Force after Sept. 11, 2001 - despite the fact that I never thought I'd join the military. I've gained a lot of respect for the military after seeing our troops go into action for Operation Enduring Freedom."
Godfrey and his fellow airmen in the 347th are subject to numerous deployments in support of a dangerous mission - to provide hope where that is all that is left, and to do the things that must be done so that others may live.
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