Exemplifying core values Oct. 24, 2023

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – On Oct. 23, 2023, Capts. Zach Evans, 3rd Airlift Squadron pilot, and Joshua Saddler, 65th Special Operations Squadron MQ-9 Reaper pilot, from Hurlburt Field, Florida, were presented with City of Dover Gold Medals for their life-saving actions during an incident that occurred in May.

Driving north of Dover AFB, Saddler and Evans witnessed a truck driving erratically, swerving between lanes, crossing medians and ignoring traffic signals.

While reporting the reckless driver to local law agencies, Evans and Saddler witnessed the truck collide into an SUV before catching fire. The two men pulled over, along with two civilians, to assist and render aid until emergency first responders arrived.

“At the moment, I wasn’t worried about myself,” said Evans. “I was just thinking how we had to move quickly to get this person to safety before the whole truck [was engulfed in flames].”

Saddler ran to the SUV and Evans went to the truck, each having someone trapped inside. Evans proceeded to drag the truck driver, who had broken both legs in the accident, out of the burning vehicle and to safety.

“[Capt. Evans] is a go-getter, and always does the right thing,” said 1st Sgt. Michael Duncan, 3rd AS first sergeant. “He exemplifies what we want in our military officers.”

Due to their courageous actions during the incident, Robin Christiansen, City of Dover Mayor, presented the pair with the City of Dover Gold Medal for their life-saving heroics during the city council meeting on October, 23, 2023. This gold medal is the highest degree for this award, and is only given in recognition of individual acts of valor, exemplary conduct or exceptionally meritorious service.

“We are extremely proud of how Capt. Evans represents the Air Force and the 3rd Airlift Squadron,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Dove, 3rd AS commander. “He exemplified our core values by selflessly risking his safety to save another's.”