SSgt. Chris Hutchison doesn't think he "did anything that was super extraordinary,'' on his last deployment to Afghanistan.
Heroes usually don't think they did.
But the U.S. Army Special Operations Command thought differently of when they presented Hutchison with their 2012 Medic of the Year Award at Hunter Army Airfield Friday.
"It's almost still kind of surreal,'' said Hutchison. "It's just an honor to have the actual USASOC surgeon and the USASOC senior enlisted medical advisor come down and present the award.''
Hutchison, who deployed to Afghanistan last year with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, became the first medic to use Tranexamic Acid, a clotting agent, on the battlefield, saving the life of an Afghan soldier who had been shot in the chest.
"It's definitely a life-saving intervention,'' said Capt. Andrew David Fisher, the battalion's senior physician's assistant. "You are under the stress of combat and the gunfire and you have to go down that decision algorithm and decide to use that drug.''
The Afghan soldier made a complete recovery, Hutchison says, because the training he has received made him completely capable of handling the situation.
"I think it just comes with the territory,'' he said. "Everyone in the battalion is specially selected and highly trained and it comes with the job. You just go out and do it every night and come back and laugh and joke and play video games and that's it. It's just part of our jobs and part of our lives.''
But even before being recognized today, Hutchison had helped set the standard for his unit and his position.
"He has progressed amazingly over the years to become one of our greatest medics,'' said Capt. Fisher. "He does an excellent job. He's always on the forefront, looking for ways to save people's lives on the battlefield. It's an honor to be able to have people like Chris in this organization.