John Oh (2011 New American Hero Award – LTC John Oh)
Good Neighboring Foundation presented the New American Hero Award to Lieutenant Colonel John S. Oh at America Korea Friendship Society 2011 annual banquet at Renaissance Waverly Hotel on April 16, 2011.
LTC Oh, currently the Associate Director of the Trauma Program at Landsthul Regional Medical Center flew in
from Germany in time to accept the award from the Foundation.
Lt. Colonel Oh was recognized for his heroic actions where he removed an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade from a wounded soldier. The soldier, Channing Moss, was impaled by a live RPG during Taliban ambush while on patrol at the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.
LTC Oh. a Korean immigrant who became a naturalized citizen and went to West Point, removed the live round with the help of volunteers and a member of the explosive ordinance disposal team. Moss has undergone six operations but is recovering well at home in Gainesville,
“I have the best job in the world. Everyday, I help save the lives of heroes who defended our country.” said LTC Oh in his acceptance speech. Oh was presented a crystal plaque and a $10,000 check where he proceeded to donate it to a non-profit organization. Wounded Warrior Project.
Channing Moss, the wounded soldier was on hand to meet and salute the New American Hero.
“I am extremely proud of LTC Oh’s exemplary devotion as an American soldier. He is a shining example as an American and an aspiring role model to our entire community.” said Sunny K. Park, Founder of Good Neighboring Foundation and president of The American Korea Friendship Society, sponsors of the evening’s award.
General James D. Thurman, Commander of the Army’s largest organization was on hand to deliver the evening’s keynote speech. General Thurman is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Commanding General of US forces in South Korea.
“In the great tradition of partnership between U.S. and Korea people, I look forward to working with the South Korean government and military,” said General Thurman.
He later also recognizes a group of Korean War veterans attending the evening’s banquet.
The evening s banquet was also attended by a business delegation from Seongdong Gu, a county adjacent to Seoul metropolitan. The business delegation was led by Mayor J.D. Goh to visit Cobb County, where it has recently established a sister-city relationship.
<I_TC John Oh (center) hold 2011 New
American Hero Award. Mr. Sunny Park
(right). Founder and Secretary General of
Good Neighboring Campaign*
Source: Georgia Asian Times
(4/18/2011), KAmerican Post
Click HERE to watch video on 2011 New American Hero Award !!
<Press Release- 2011 New American Hero Award>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 24, 2011
Good Neighboring Foundation. Inc.
CONTACT: Joshua Lee. 770-452-8039, Jlee@Goodneighboring.org
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) John Oh, Medical Doctor, of the U S. Army is the 2011 New American Hero of the Year.
Good Neighboring Foundation, Inc. — a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta. GA — announced its 2011 New American Hero of the Year to recognize Dr. Oh’s heroic service to his new nation and its people, his contribution to the United States as an American of Korean ancestry, and his position as a role model for all Americans.
The Foundation’s Executive Committee unanimously selected Lieutenant Colonel John Oh to receive the award for 2011. “We are pleased to select LTC Oh for this year’s award; it, for sure, was not an easy task as there were several great nominees,” said Sunny K. Park, the Founder and Executive Director of the Good Neighboring Foundation.
Good Neighboring Foundation (GNF) stated, in granting Dr. Oh this honor, “We. on behalf of Americans of Korean ancestry, want to recognize LTC John Oh for his exemplary devotion to advancing the cause of Americans of Korean ancestry through his heroic service as an American soldier. He is a shining example as an American, and an inspiring role model to our entire community.”
GNF selects an American of Korean ancestry as needed who has made a significant contribution to the United States, and who makes the immigrant community proud. Past recipient of the New American Hero of the Year award was Dr. Tom Kim of Knoxville. TN, who founded the Free Clinic for Working Poor and who has operated the clinic for more than eleven years.
The award ceremony will be held during the America Korea Friendship Society annual event 7 PM Saturday April 16, 2011 at Renaissance Waverly Hotel, Marietta, Georgia.
Good Neighboring Foundation (GNF) activities began in 2000 with two major goals: (1) to stimulate Asian American immigrants and motivate them to become an integral part of American communities, and (2) to encourage Asian immigrants, starting with Korean Americans, to use their heritage, values and resources for the betterment of the United States. For more information, please visit www.GoodNeighboring.org
Background of the 2011 Award Recipient
On March 16, 2007, Alpha Company platoon had set out from Forward Operating Base Tillman around 8 a m. for a meeting with tribal leaders near the Pakistan border. Channing Moss,
then a private first class, was manning a Mark 19 machine gun in the turret of his up-armored Humvee when Afghan forces attacked his unit.
Tom Ki m (I efl), Awardee of the 1 st New American Hero Award in 2005 and LTCJohnOh.
Moss was turning his machine gun turret to return fire when the first of three rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds to strike his vehicle exploded on the truck commander’s door. Staff Sgt.
Eric Wynn yelled at the driver to get out of the kill zone, but ‘that’s when we got hit again.” A projectile bored into Moss’s left hip at a downward angle, tearing through his lower abdomen.
The tip of the device stopped just short of breaking through the skin on Moss’s upper right thigh. Wynn, with the tip of his nose sheared off and his tom upper lip hanging loosely, radioed his lieutenant.
The attack was over in seconds. Moss was on the verge of death, impaled through the abdomen with an RPG. An aluminum rod with one tail fin protruded from the left side of his torso.
As the medical team lifted off in its Black Hawk helicopter for the 10-minute flight to the battle scene, all they knew was that urgent casualties awaited them and that the area was hot. On touchdown, flight medic Sgt. John Collier jumped out and sped toward the wounded to assess the situation. When the medics and a helicopter crew saw Moss, there was only one choice. They said. “Yeah, we gotta get this guy to the hospital.”
At the moment, everyone was focused on the new mission,” Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jorge Correa said. “I know we risked our lives to save Pfc. Moss, but there was no hesitation. I didn’t really think about it until a couple of days later, but it was like, ^Wow, we had live ordnance on the helicopter.'”
John Oh, 759th Forward Surgical Team general surgeon and a major at the time, recalled that the delicacy of the situation wasn’t truly apparent until they began cutting away Moss’s combat uniform and unraveling all the gauze bandages.
Protocol, as far as Oh knew, dictated that someone in Moss’ condition be placed in a sandbagged bunker and listed as ‘expectant,” meaning that he would be expected to die because nothing could be done for him. Despite military protocol, Oh proceeded, warning the volunteers that the surgery could cost everyone their lives. Dr. Oh then began operating to extract the ordnance from Moss’ booby-trapped body. One wrong move could kill the patient and the entire medical team.
Still conscious, Moss assumed the worst. “I didn’t know they had put anesthesia in my IV. I was blacking out, and I thought I was dying. I thought they were just going to leave me.”
Major Oh and the team decided that the device would have to be removed by pulling it through in the direction it had traveled. Oh opened up Moss so that the extent of damage to his abdomen and the path of the projectile could be assessed. The damage was extensive. Moss’s intestines had been shredded, his pelvic bone crushed, and he had lost a lot of blood. However, no major organs were disturbed.
EOD technician Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Brown began sawing off the tail fin, which protruded just above Moss’s left hip. Brown said Moss needed to remain calm and steady, but the situation was frightening, with everyone in the room wide-eyed, staring at each other. Using his scalpel for the most delicate incision of his life. Oh took the next step and cut the skin on Moss’s right thigh where the tip of the device came to rest. Then, as if delivering a ticking baby time bomb. Brown gently and steadily eased the blood-covered metal tube from Moss’ body. Breathing sighs of relief. Dr. Oh and the medical team patched up what remained of Moss’ lower abdomen so he could be airlifted.
Personal safety took a backseat that day to saving Moss. The bravery, quick thinking, and nerves of steel of Dr. Oh and the others involved enabled Pfc. Moss to attend the birth of his second daughter, Ariana, just three months later.
Moss commended the soldiers who saved his life that day. “I don’t think there has been a day in the last year and a half that I haven’t thought about them, that I haven’t prayed for them. They saved my life.”