LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A Southwest Florida veteran is recognized for his heroic duty in Desert Storm. The Army Solider received six medals he never knew he was awarded, until recently.
Army Specialist George Tice tells WINK News his veteran affairs attorney found medals he was awarded in his medical records last year. They were recommended for his bravery and selflessness when he saved a solider from a burning helicopter near the Iraqi border on March 1, 1991.
"It was a Chinook helicopter that went down," Tice said. "It hit a tower that didn't have lights on it and I pulled the only survivor out of it."
State and local representatives had the honor of awarding Tice with the medals at Sunday night's Florida Tarpons game at Germain Arena.
"He disregarded his safety and went in to the burning helicopter where there was munitions, it was on fire, there was live ammo, but he went inside. No concerns for his own safety he went in and pulled survivors out. That is the very definition of duty to country" said Florida State Representative Ray Rodrigues.
"There's no doubt that he made a difference in the life of that solider who he was able to save from the helicopter wreck. And I'm sure that their family is glad he was able to be there and perform that duty" said Florida State Representative Matt Caldwell.
While Tice is very humble about this recognition, "its very overwhelming," he said.
Those who presented the medals feel he's more than deserving. Rep. Rodrigues said, "its too bad its taken this long for the Army to get this man the recognition he deserves, but I'm thankful that its finally occurred."
"This is fantastic. I'm sure George would just say he's an average guy, but for all of us who are able to enjoy the freedoms we do here in America, because of people like him because of their service I think he's extraordinary, as are all the other folks that put on a uniform."
Tice is known for helping and honoring veterans. For the past three years, he's made sure veterans were recognized at halftime of every tarpons game.