Guard helicopter crew presented Arkansas Cross Medal for heroism


Members of the Arkansas National Guard were honored Saturday for their part in bringing home the bodies of two Arkansas law enforcement officers lost during a rescue attempt in floodwaters last year.The crew of the Black Hawk helicopter designated "Dustoff 458", Capt. Nick {}Price, pilot; Chief Warrant Officer-3 Billy Ursery, copilot; Sgt. First Class Mike Williamson, senior flight medic; Staff Sgt. Nathan Smith, flight medic; and Sgt. Brandon Dostert, crew chief were presented the Arkansas Military Cross Medal for outstanding airmanship and heroism.During the mission near Y City in May 2013, the guardsmen assisted in rescuing two searchers and recovering the bodies of Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter and Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Joel Campora who went missing during a highwater rescue mission.Sgt. First Class Mike Williamson said although the risk was high it was unanimous decision among the crew to continue their attempt to bring the officers home."That day he was one of us," Williamson said. "He was somebody out there doing the same thing we were doing trying to protect their neighbors and save somebody's life. So we were not going to leave them behind."The Arkansas Military Cross is the second highest award for heroism that can be presented to members of the Arkansas National Guard for gallant service involving voluntary risk of life or limb to protect the life of another person, or mission designed to lessen the threat to life, health and safety of others.