Future Fighter Pilot, AF Cross Recipient Credits Higher Power

Capt Barry Crawford was recently awarded the Air Force cross by US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz for his actions in Afghanistan in May 2010.  The Air Force cross is second only to the Medal of Honor, and Crawford became only the third living recipient of the award since September 11, 2001.  The Air Force special tactics officer and his small team fought a pitched 14-hour battle with more than 100 Taliban insurgents — with Crawford exposing himself to fire to assist in the evacuation of wounded.

Crawford credited “someone higher than us” for their safe return that day.

“It was completely random,” he said. “There were so many close calls that when we all got back, we realized that someone higher than us was looking over our shoulder that day. The situation was just something you can’t explain.”

There may be atheists in the military, but there weren’t any in Crawford’s foxhole that day.

General Schwartz had high praise for Captain Crawford:

“It is not hard to be utterly impressed by his bravery and inspired by his selflessness,” Schwartz said.

Capt Crawford is reportedly going to UPT to fly the A-10 for the Maryland National Guard.

As an aside, it’s worth noting that Crawford’s deployment didn’t end that day.  During the ceremony he was also awarded a Purple Heart — which he received for another mission a month later.