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NEWS | July 4, 2022

Churchill Downs honors fallen Kentucky Guard Special Tactics Airman

By Dale Greer, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Churchill Downs honored a fallen Kentucky Air National Guardsman here June 12, staging a thoroughbred horse race in his name as part of military appreciation day.

Tech. Sgt. Travis Lee Brown, a pararescueman from the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, died by suicide Feb. 16.

“Technical Sergeant Brown was a deeply respected, combat-tested Airman who embodied the finest values of integrity, service and excellence,” said Col. Bruce Bancroft, commander of the squadron’s parent unit, the 123rd Airlift Wing.

“A highly decorated veteran of the war in Iraq with over 18 years in the military, he always answered the call to serve his country.”

More than 150 Airmen, friends and family members attended the event to pay their respects.

Brown’s decorations include the Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze star, the Air Medal with one device and the Air Force Commendation Medal. The Air Medal is awarded to U.S. personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight.

Pararescuemen are parachute-jump qualified trauma specialists who maintain Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic credentials throughout their careers. With this medical and rescue expertise, PJs are able to perform life-saving missions in the world’s most remote areas.

A PJ’s primary function is personnel recovery specialist, providing emergency medical capabilities in humanitarian and combat environments. PJs deploy in any available manner, to include air-land-sea tactics, into restricted environments to authenticate, extract, treat, stabilize and evacuate injured personnel.

Their motto, “That Others May Live,” reaffirms the pararescueman’s commitment to saving lives.

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