Thomas (Thristen) Grantland graduated from in 1994. Two weeks later he was in Air Force basic training. At one point during his present 18-year career as a flight medic he was assigned to a helicopter rescue unit in Afghanistan. The following is an excerpt from his journal:
April 9,2007, Got a red alert that Afghan National army and Canadian troops had been ambushed. As I waited for the chase bird to fuel up I was nervous with no idea what to expect. When we arrived at the forward operating base I could see numerous injured troops and lots of activity going on. I received a quick brief about the patients and upon checking on them, I saw two had head wounds and one had a gun shot wound to the stomach. We loaded up the wounded and were getting to ready to go when the pilot yelled to me those are the wrong patients. With time being of the essence when you're on the ground in hostile territory, we quickly unloaded and reloaded the other wounded. The litters didn't fit in the door correctly so we took one off the litter and strapped him to a backboard. The 30-minute flight seemed like an eternity; I was handling three patients by myself while checking pulses and bagging one to keep him breathing. When we landed at Kandahar my back ached and my sweat had formed a puddle on the floor. I ran to resupply before we took off again and this time I had the patient loaded and ready to go in just three minutes.
Back at the base we had started to take off our gear, when another red alert came in – a Canadian troop had fallen in a well and we were off again.
Thomas is currently a Master Sergeant stationed in Washington D.C., he is my son the grandson of the late Fergus and Anne Mooney of Branford.