Eighteen members of the 936th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment (FRSD), an Army Reserve unit based in Paducah, were recognized on Saturday for their service while deployed to Afghanistan.
Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels, commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, presented awards to 18 men and women for 936th FRSD service in Afghanistan in 2021, addressing soldiers and civilians as the American armed forces were withdrawing from the country.
Col. Kenneth J. Nelson received the Bronze Star for distinguished performance in duty and service as an orthopedic trauma surgeon and his leadership while deployed. Members of the 936th FRSD also received Army Medals with Combat Device and Army Combat Action Badges.
“Your skills have helped save lives and give hope to more than 150,000 Afghan evacuees. You were the caregivers who will never leave a fallen comrade behind, and you are the brave men and women who administer care at all costs,” Daniels told the crowd of Army Reserve members and their families at the Paducah Armed Forces Reserve Center on Saturday. .
The 936th FRSD was stationed near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The unit, which deployed to Afghanistan in April 2021, treated wounded service members and civilians.
When the Taliban took Kabul on August 15, 2021, Daniels said the unit needed to work with other armed forces to be ready to defend the hospital while providing critical care for the wounded.
Daniels said the unit’s skills were “tested” after a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26. During this time, the unit performed trauma resuscitation and provided trauma care and intensive care to U.S. forces, NATO forces, and Afghan civilians. . Additionally, Daniels said the unit reinforced security personnel, transported wounded, distributed medical supplies and cared for nearly 150 orphans.
As part of Operation Allies Refuge, the 936th FRSD was one of the last units to leave Afghanistan, leaving the country on August 30, 2021.
Staff Sgt. Jonda Henderson, of Murray, was one of the 936th members awarded for his service in Afghanistan. A critical care nurse and graduate of Paducah Community College, now known as West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Henderson has been with the 936th for more than a decade and in her civilian work, works at Murray County Hospital -Calloway.
“It was an honor [to receive the combat award]”, Henderson said. “This event was not planned on my part because, you know, we did what we trained for. So we did our job and getting the battle rewards is just a real honor.
The 936th was assigned to the Army Reserve and activated in Paducah in 1997 as a Medical Detachment, Forward Surgical Team. The unit, made up of members from Kentucky and neighboring states, had previously deployed in 2003, 2011 and 2016 in addition to its 2021 deployment to Afghanistan.