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Maj. William Mendel, 20th Special Operations Squadron, sits next to Brig. Gen. William Holt, Air Force Special Operations Command director of operations, Hurlburt Field, Fla., during his Distinguished Flying Cross ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., May 15, 2017. Maj. Mendel and other aircraft in his formation received heavy and effective hostile fire during a mission in Africa, but managed to save the lives of four critically wounded individuals and complete the mission. He and other crew members were presented the Distinguished Flying Cross, a medal created in 1918 to reward those who display heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. Maj. Mendel became the 79th Airman under Air Force Special Operations Command to receive the honor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer)
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