Rahall sponsored the Resolution, which was introduced last week and co-sponsored by Reps. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), to honor all of the West Virginians – military members, first responders, civilian volunteers and citizens, who worked to coordinate and carry out the rescue operation.
To underscore the purpose of his Resolution, Rahall points to a February 20th editorial in the Beckley, W.Va. Register-Herald newspaper titled, “Our Nature” which said, “When a crisis strikes, West Virginia responds. Time and time again. West Virginians are ready to help in a moment’s notice, often without being asked.”
“West Virginians are the best neighbors you could ever ask to have. We proved it once again last month. There are few who can doubt the courage, ability and enormous determination of West Virginians,” said Rahall. “This was an outstanding and highly coordinated effort on the part of many, who worked non-stop under very difficult conditions to reach the crew and personnel on board that helicopter.”
The full text of Rep. Rahall’s introduction for the Resolution is below:
Madam Speaker, today I rise to introduce a resolution recognizing the heroic efforts of the West Virginia National Guard and local responders.
On Thursday, February 18, 2010, the heroic actions of West Virginians brought about the highly successful rescue of 17 military personnel who were on board a U.S. Navy helicopter – participating in the Operation Southbound Trooper X annual military exercise, which went down in deep, snow-covered, and very rugged terrain in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
The remarkable rescue was an outstanding and highly coordinated effort on the part of many highly trained professionals as well as private citizens, who worked under very difficult conditions to reach the crew and personnel on board the aircraft, many of whom had been injured in the crash.
West Virginians are the best neighbors for whom you could ever wish. It is a truth that has been proven time and again. This heroic rescue effort was, thankfully, a rare event, but it was not at all out of character for our State. In fact, it was merely illustrative of the best of West Virginia.
The swift response; astounding skills and abilities; enormous courage; and, profound determination of all those involved in the rescue operation – from those who serve in and lead our West Virginia National Guard; to our local fire, rescue, law enforcement and first responder units; and the countless volunteers, families and neighbors nearby – most certainly made the difference between life and death.
While no expression of gratitude would ever be sought for such selfless acts, the hope that one good turn deserves another never dims with West Virginians.
On behalf of my fellow West Virginians, I'm pleased to introduce the following resolution to honor their good deeds, and to illuminate them as a beacon for others.