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Hometown Hero: Bryenna Breckheimer

Town of Menasha native serves as medical technician in Afghanistan. Convoy hit by RPG. She aided wounded before treating her own wounds.
THE FOX CITIES (WFRV) Town of Menasha native Bryenna Breckheimer had some simple reasons for enlisting the U.S. Air Force in 2010.

"And just see more of the world as well as getting my education paid for," Breckheimer said.

Her original goal to become a teacher gave way to serve as a medical technician. When she was deployedto Bagra, Afghanistan in 2010, Breckheimer got an education in a far different culture than she knew.

"Just seeing how they live life there, it was a very different, very poor country," she said.

A poor country Breckheimer and her unit were committed to aiding where ever possible.

"But even on the road, if we saw a local national that was hurt, we'd help them," Breckheimer recalled.

Breckheimer was finishing up her 25th, and final scheduled, convoy mission assisting U.S Army troops. While returning to Bagram, the convoy came under a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

"It ended up coming in on my left side and it went straight through the seat in front of me, which, fortunately, there was no one sitting there," she remembers.

She began treating soldiers with shrapnel wounds, disregarding her own wounds.

I guess I was so focused on what I needed to do. I knew I was hurt," Breckheimer said.

For her actions, Breckheimer received a purple heart. She was also named one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of 2012. An honor she's proud of. But...."

"There was a team of seven of us air force medics and we're doing the same job. I don't think I deserve it any more than anyone else," said Breckheimer.

Bryenna says the Army Combat Medic Badge she was awarded is equally as meanful.

"Knowing that I was able to do my job well in that, under pressure, being fired at, means a lot."

Breckheimer recently re-enlisted, while her husband has left the Air Force. And she says she'd go back to Afghanistan under the same circumstances.

"Very glad I did it and I would not change anything," she said.

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.

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