Pilots honored as heroes at Whiteman Air Force Base
By: Lisa Benson
KNOB NOSTER, Mo. - Soldiers from Kentucky traveled to Whiteman Air Force Base in central Missouri to thank the airmen who saved their lives four years ago in Afghanistan.
Mauricio Alejandro Arias is a member of the Kentucky Army Guard. Arias is a gunner and his battalion came under enemy fire in June 2008 in Afghanistan. The vehicles were disabled and several soldiers were injured. They were outgunned.
"One thing I know; If these guys had not showed up in the next two, three minutes -- at most seven minutes-- we'd die," Arias said. "At this time, we're fighting and fighting and we're running out of ammo. We were about to just take the hill at our sides because vehicles were down and there was nothing else to do because the enemy was still fighting at us."
The fight changed course when Air Force Pilot Lt. Colonel Tony Roe and his wingman Colonel James Mackey flew overhead. Roe and Mackey were doing routine checks when they were alerted to the fire fight.
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