Former Air Force running back Devin Rushing was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal last week in Florida after rescuing a man from drowning.
The rescue occurred on Sept. 2, when Rushing heard screaming from the water off the Florida coast and he identified a young man struggling 50 yards offshore in severe water conditions effected by Hurricane Hermine. According to Lt. Col. Raj Agrawal, Rushing “fought through crashing waves, brought him back to shore, and worked with a life guard to resuscitate the young man.”
The 20th Space Control Squadron posted the news on its Facebook page, drawing more than 300 reactions and 32 comments. Among the commenters congratulating Rushing were former Air Force teammates Jon Lee, Spencer Proctor and Jaleel Awini.
The Gazette learned of the news when running backs coach Ben Miller congratulated Rushing on Twitter.
Rushing, a native of DeSoto, Texas, is a 2016 Air Force graduate who ran 116 times for 572 yards and four touchdowns in his career.
Here is the full report posted from the 20th Space Control Squadron:
This is to certify that the Air Force Achievement Medal has been awarded to Second Lieutenant Devin B. Rushing for Outstanding Achievement.
Second Lieutenant Devin B. Rushing distinguished himself by outstanding achievement while assigned to the 20th Space Control Squadron, 21st Operations Group, 21st Space Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. On 2 September 2016, the after effects of a recent hurricane increased the severity of waves along Florida's Gulf Coast. While swimming was not prohibited in the Gulf, swimming in the more dangerous riptides required a higher level of training and athletic conditioning. On that day, Lieutenant Rushing heard screaming coming from the water. His attention was quickly directed to screams for help, pointing toward a drowning man approximately 50 years off the shore. Lieutenant Rushing swam out to the young man, fought through crashing waves, brought him back to shore, and worked with a life guard to resuscitate the young man. On this date, all of Lieutenant Rushing's character, competence, and commitment to a higher calling came to bear upon a choice to risk his life for another's. His choice led to another American, a young man that he did not know, getting to live another day. The distinctive accomplishments of Lieutenant Rushing reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Given under my hand,
Raj Agrawal, Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force
Commander, 20th Space Control Squadron