A Keller family can proudly claim that their son is only the second Marine aviator in history to receive the British Distinguished Flying Cross military decoration.
The British Embassy awarded the decoration to U.S. Marine Corps aviator Capt. Brian Jordan for landing his UH-1Y Venom helicopter in the middle of a battle in Afghanistan in 2012 to rescue two wounded British soldiers.
The first Marine recipient of the British Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded the decoration during World War II, Jordan said. It is given to aviators that show “exemplary gallantry in the air in presence of the enemy.”
On June 21, 2012, Jordan, ,and his crew provided cover for the British Grenadier Guard in Afghanistan alongside another crew in an AH-1W Cobra helicopter.
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Two British soldiers were wounded, one was in shock, and Jordan’s helicopter was low on fuel.
The crew estimated a 30-minute wait for an evacuation helicopter to come and help, so they made the decision to help the wounded soldiers themselves.
“It wasn’t under our tasks to execute this, but due to the critical moments needed to save these guys’ lives, the crew and I decided it was the right thing to do,” Jordan said. “We know that if they were put in that situation, they would do the same for us.”
The British soldiers were saved, earning Jordan and his crew the commendation.
“Really, we just executed the decision-making skills as a crew and it couldn’t have worked any better,” Jordan said. “It’s extremely humbling and a complete honor to receive this on behalf of the crew. In all honesty, it’s the crew’s award, I was just the one to receive it.”
Jil and Steve Jordan, Brian’s parents, said they were proud of their son for his actions.
“We’re very proud of the decision he helped make, and very humbled by the award,” Steve Jordan said. “He always wanted to be a pilot from as soon as I can remember him talking.”
Steve Jordan, who also is a pilot, said Brian is a fourth-generation Navy/Marine Corps pilot, and said his son was inspired to become a pilot through his family’s experiences.
The family moved to Keller in February 2012, and Jil Jordan said her son pays visits from California where he is stationed.
Steve Jordan said the commendation was especially rewarding because it came from another nation’s government, showing cameraderie between different countries.
Brian Jordan agreed, and said he was only doing his duty and what was right.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re American or British,” he said. “We all work as one and that’s what matters.”