Airman Receives Airman’s Medal for Off-duty Rescue

The Air Force has awarded SSgt. Chris Harlan, with the 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker AFB, Okla., the Airman’s Medal for his part in helping save four exchange college students from drowning at Turner Falls in Oklahoma in 2007. Harlan, then a senior airman, was returning from a fishing trip with two friends when they noted five people—later identified as exchange students from India—wading into the water at Turner Falls; they slipped into deeper water and obviously couldn’t swim. Harlan and his friends jumped into the frigid water, retrieving four; Harlan continued the search for another 30 minutes for the fifth student until police arrived. (Tinker report by Howdy Stout)