Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2011 Induction - Nashville, TN
Specialist Five Steve Hook was the “Charles Kelly of DUSTOFF medics.” He put every life entrusted to his care above his own, routinely risking his life for the wounded.
By his demeanor and example he contributed immeasurably to a unit that sustained fifty percent casualties and still evacuated some 4,000 patients each month. He was absolutely fearless, the model for all that the combat medic has been or could ever aspire to be.
Hook was among the few crewmembers with the qualifications and courage to rescue patients in zero/zero weather, at night under instrument conditions to the pickup site where the crew looked for flares and descended through the weather and mountains.
On one such mission, he guided the pilots through the clouds to a unit pinned down and surrounded by the enemy. He left the aircraft and raced through enemy fire to get the patient. Once on board, he skillfully treated his wounds and saved his life.
On his final mission he volunteered to rescue wounded from an ARVN outpost surrounded by the enemy and under heavy mortar fire. On two missions into this area he was forced again to leave the aircraft, as the friendlies were pinned down. He repeatedly raced across open areas to load the wounded while the enemy concentrated small arms fire, RPGs and mortar on him and his ship.
On his third trip the enemy zeroed in on the DUSTOFF ship. A direct mortar hit severely wounded him; shrapnel dug deep into his brain and seriously damaged one arm. He would spend many months in the hospital and years recovering.
He is not famous nor did he die in a blaze of glory, but he left his blood and sweat on many battlefields setting an example for all who care for others.
Steve Hook was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 24 February 2002.