Gloucester native Garrett Hendrickson has been serving his country for the past six years, three as a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter pilot, but his most recent assignment was unlike anything he’s done before.
Stationed at USCG Air Station Clearwater in Clearwater, Florida, Lt. Hendrickson commanded a crew that served a special mission to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief to Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the island nation on Aug. 14.
As the pilot of an H-60 helicopter, Hendrickson spent a week flying from his base in the Bahamas to remote, mountainous areas of Haiti that were cut off from the rest of the country when the earthquake wiped out bridges and left roads impassable. His primary mission was the medical evacuation of stranded earthquake survivors, and the only way to get to them was by flying into deep mountain valleys and finding sometimes very small patches of flat terrain to land on. In addition to the steep mountains and damaged infrastructure, th...
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