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rescue

While the Bahamas serve as a popular vacation destination, they are also a transshipment point for drugs coming from South America into the United States. Nick Jacobellis was participating in a drug interdiction mission when he was separated from the other members of the strike team. In the confusion that so often accompanies armed raids, Nick found himself alone on the island with his antagonists and in desperate need of rescue.

Nick devoted himself to evasion and stayed in the thick undergrowth while the mix-up got sorted out back at headquarters. After a few hours, Nick heard the sound of freedom—the beating rotor from a UH-60 Blackhawk. It took the Blackhawk and crew a few minutes to locate Nick, but when they did they came in fast. The bird hit hard and Nick made a mad dash for the only friends he had at the moment and for his one chance of escape.

The moment Nick dove through the open door of the helicopter, the pilot pulled pitch and made for home in southern Florida. Nick flashed the crew his best cool guy smile and thumbs up and silently thanked the good Lord above for getting him out of yet another tight spot.

—Tom Beckstrand

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