17:20 PM

Young Awarded Silver Medal of Valor for Colo. Rescue

Lt. Col. Mark D. Young has been honored with Civil Air Patrol’s top award, the Silver Medal of Valor, for actions he took Feb. 17, 2005, in locating a downed aircraft and helping rescue the sole survivor in very rough terrain.

Young received the award Friday at the University of Rocky Mountain Region Graduation Banquet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The medal recognized his actions in contacting the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office to report the downed plane and then leading sheriff’s ground teams into the area at their request amid freezing weather, deep snow, the threat of avalanches and steep, uneven terrain as darkness approached.

The final 600 feet proved inaccessible with either snowmobile or snowcat, so Young and three search team members used ropes, climbing gear and handmade snowshoes to extricate the hypothermic and dehydrated pilot at more than 10,000 feet in altitude.

Now commander of CAP’s National Radar Analysis Team, Young received the award from Col. Tom Kettell, Rocky Mountain Region commander, and Maj. Gen. Amy S. Courter, former CAP national commander.