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Veteran's Day

U of U Veterans Medallion



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Branch: Army / National Guard
Theatre: Vietnam / Iraq / Afghanistan

In 1969, Scott Hansen, better known as “Scotty”, found himself drafted and on his way to Vietnam. Unsatisfied as being assigned as a truck driver and longing to do more, he volunteered for the infantry but his request was denied. Two weeks lapsed and he found himself assigned to the 1st Calvary Division AirMobile and lived a continual adrenaline rush, flying troops in or out, supplying ammunition, food and occasionally medevacs.

One night along the Cambodian border, Hansen and his crew flew in to rescue two wounded soldiers. On the return flight to the firebase, the crew deviated from their regular flight pattern to allow for a successful landing and off-loading in the kill zone. They were completely blacked out, landing next to the medical bunker between two rows of Concertina wire causing confusion to the enemy which allowed the helicopter to depart the area. During the chaotic exit, they discovered an unidentified man on board. To remove the interloper, the crew risked circling back around and with skids of the helicopter just above the ground, Hansen grabbed him and tossed him out. As the helicopter departed for the second time, violent vibrations suddenly rocked the chopper causing major damage to the main rotor and tail boom. Based on the condition of the chopper, mechanics were stumped on how it flew back; it should have crashed. Hansen shared, “I said a lot of prayers that night for a safe return.”

After returning home, Hansen joined the Utah National Guard 19th Special Forces and became a paratrooper, top-flight commando, and Green Beret. He helped train elite armies in Korea, Thailand, Guam, the Philippines and other places throughout the world during his 38-year career.

In Afghanistan in 2002, Hansen and his team, on a tip, were searching a walled-in compound for a potential bomb-making operation. Hansen’s unit surprised six Al Qaeda operatives resulting in a firefight. In a hail of hand grenades and flying bullets, Hansen dragged the mortally wounded Afghanis out of danger. Within moments, he picked up a wounded Special Forces soldier and moved across an open area, exposing himself to active shooters. Hansen did not realize he had been wounded in the leg at the beginning of the battle, but exposed himself two more times to rescue wounded comrades.

Hansen shared advice for soldiers coming into the teams, “Listen and learn because it will save your life someday.” And he adds, “Do your best and don’t let anybody down.”

Honor A Veteran

Selections are only based on the nominee's military service
Nominees do not have to be alumni or associated with the university in any way. Each year, the committee selects eleven honorees based on noteworthy honor, courage, commitment, and sacrifice during their military service to our nation, but decorations for valor are not required. Selections are only based on the nominee's military service.