School of General Studies student Oscar Escano received a Distinguished Service Award from City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. at a ceremony held Nov. 20 at City Hall. Escano, an Army Ranger and squad medic, was recognized for his service in Afghanistan.
“The Comptroller's office organized a wonderful ceremony and I was pleased to see many fellow veterans from various eras in attendance,” Escano said. “I am thankful to the Comptroller's office as well as to the City of New York for acknowledging the sacrifices of past and present servicemen and servicewomen.”
Escano cofounded the student group U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University (MilVets) and currently serves as its President Emeritus. He plans to attend medical school after graduating in May.
“As an aspiring healthcare professional, I see this ceremony as an opportunity to acknowledge that veterans face very real health concerns that need to be addressed with utmost urgency,” he said.
In addition to physical injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which is often sustained in the shockwave of roadside bomb explosions and causes significant long-term impairment, many soldiers experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the significant emotional demands placed on them in a high-stress combat environment.
“I believe that our servicemen and servicewomen, having sacrificed so much, deserve the best possible standard of care for these and other injuries,” he said.
Escano received the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions in Operation Anaconda. He was later featured on NBC News’ Dateline, recounting his role in a rescue mission that took place during that operation.
More on the Dateline broadcast, “Rescue on Roberts Ridge”: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13169261/