Support our mission
Tech. Sgt. Sean Hansen, a weather forecaster with Detachment 1 of the Air Force's 7th Weather Squadron in Würzburg, Germany, received the Airman's Medal at a ceremony Thursday morning at Ramstein Air Base.

Tech. Sgt. Sean Hansen, a weather forecaster with Detachment 1 of the Air Force's 7th Weather Squadron in Würzburg, Germany, received the Airman's Medal at a ceremony Thursday morning at Ramstein Air Base. (Russ Rizzo / S&S)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Excitement and relief is how Tech. Sgt. Sean Hansen described the feeling of receiving the Airman’s Medal from Gen. Robert “Doc” Foglesong on Thursday morning.

Excitement over receiving the Air Force’s highest noncombat medal. Relief that the award ceremonies and photo shoots are over — back to normal life with the kids.

Hansen, a weather forecaster with Detachment 1 of the 7th Weather Squadron in Würzburg, received the medal for saving a 7-year-old boy from two attacking Rottweilers in his neighborhood outside Würzburg in January 2004. The dogs were tearing at the boy’s flesh outside Hansen’s home, and Hansen fought them off by punching them.

Witnesses credited Hansen with saving the boy’s life.

Stories of Hansen’s actions graced the front pages of several national German newspapers, Hansen said, and reporters descended on his home for interviews. In the past year, the mayor Hochberg where he lives presented a coin to him, and the minister president of Bavaria gave him an award.

“This was the pinnacle,” Hansen said of the Airman’s Medal. “As a kid, you dream about the Medal of Honor and the Airman’s Medal. It means you did something worthwhile.”

The boy who was attacked still wears special pants to help reduce scarring on his legs and attends regular meetings with a psychologist to help with trauma he suffered during the attack, said Hansen, who still visits with the boy from time to time.

The dogs, owned by a U.S. soldier whose name was not released, were shot by German police.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up