!!REAL!! Female Blackhawk Pilot Shares First Combat Experience !!MUST SEE!!

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by Published on July 27, 2019
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Capt. Andrea Ourada wears a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol in a shoulder holster, wryly decorated with a pink "Princess" sticker. She also has good jewelry. The latest piece is a delicately wrought Combat Action Badge. The silver sword-and-wreath was awarded for direct-fire involvement as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot.
Ourada's unit, the Army's 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion, recently flew a combat-conditions mission unique in American history: The mission—involving two Blackhawks, each with two pilots and two door gunners—was carried out entirely by women, right down to the pre-mission crew flight briefings.
"It was exciting," says Ourada, 29. "But it was also routine. We're pilots—no problem. There isn't any question about our abilities."
In the course of the yearlong mission in Iraq, the personnel of the 2-147 will get to go home once, for 15 days.
For Ourada, this means getting back to the farm where she grew up, near the tiny town of Lucan in southwest Minnesota. "We had a dairy farm," she says, "and every day, no matter what else was going on, you had to do the chores."
Ourada is the oldest of five children and the only daughter. Growing up around a bunch of roughneck brothers, Ourada says, "I never felt incapable of protecting myself. If I've got to fight, I'll fight."
That strength was tested when Ourada's brother Daniel was killed in a horrendous automobile accident six years ago. She was serving in the National Guard at the time and was considering becoming a pilot, but the tragedy—and its effect on her family—wrenched her life into painful focus. Ourada always had been driven to excel, but suddenly it seemed much more important to have clear goals. When she was accepted to flight school, she decided to attend.
Two years later, Ourada says, "I was right at the top of the class. Then came the second anniversary of Daniel's death. I went into a slump. I was having a really hard time. If I hadn't come out of it, I don't know what would have happened. But then Mom called. She said the whole family was coming down for my graduation. I thought, 'Oh, my god, I can't let them down.'"
She graduated with honors.
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