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Two Hometown Heroes to fly with Golden Knights

Release Number: 050310

Two Army Soldiers from the Golden Knights Parachute Team come down underneath their parachute canopy at the Military World Games in Hyderabad, India, Oct. 14, 2007. The Golden Knights will perform at the 2008 ?Wings Over Charleston? Air Expo. (U. S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Glenda Lynchard

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A Prattville, Ala. firefighter and a local student were notified Tuesday they were selected to fly with the U.S. Army Golden Knights as part of its Hometown Hero program.

Michael Whaley, a battalion commander with the Prattville Fire Department, and Robert Mitchell, a student at Auburn University Montgomery, are scheduled to fly on-board the aircraft with the Golden Knights on March 26 as part of the preparations for the Maxwell Open House and Air Show.

Mr. Whaley was nominated for "demonstrating great courage and resolve" during the tornado ravaging Prattville in February 2008. He was named the Prattville Firefighter of the Year for 2008 and received the American Legion Department of Alabama Firefighter of the Year award for 2009. Over his 16-year career with the Prattville Fire Department, he has received several unit citation awards and meritorious service awards.

Mr. Mitchell, now a freshman at AUM, was nominated by Jerry Watkins, his high school principal at East Memorial Christian Academy. In addition to his volunteer activities, Mr. Mitchell distinguished himself in early 2009 during a house fire near his home. As he was driving down a street, he noticed a home billowing with smoke. He stopped his truck and entered the home. He found an elderly man unconscious in the home and pulled him to safety. Millbrook fire chief Larry Brown credits Mr. Mitchell with saving the man's life.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights are scheduled to perform during the Maxwell Open House and Air Show on March 27 and 28.

For more information, contact Air University Public Affairs at (334) 953-2014.