Mississippi NCO Saves Life!

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I was travelling in my car from Ft. Benning to Vicksburg, MS as part of a 3-1 Cav Staff Ride. I was heading west on I-20 about an hour away from Vicksburg. The rain was just easing up from an earlier torrential downpour. Driving conditions were so bad at times I had to slow way down and flip on my hazards while driving in the slow lane.

I passed a firetruck and EMS truck on the left, and slowed down to see what was happening. An accident. I saw a hint of a silver vehicle buried in huge tree branches in the forested median. I saw a uniformed Soldier and decided to stop to offer assistance. Perhaps a Chaplain would be needed. Then I swallowed hard wondering if someone from my own unit had ran off the road in the heavy rains and slick road.

I went to introduce myself to the Soldier who identified himself as a Mississippi National Guardsman. I could see he had parked on the opposite side of the road before I did. As we stood in the light rain which was easing to a halt, I learned he was a Specialist – a career guidance Non-Commissioned Officer.

He was driving along in the downpour with poor visibility when out of his side window he noticed what looked like a crashed vehicle. He immediately stopped, pulled way off the road and crossed over the highway to go to the vehicle. He found a woman trapped inside and quickly going into shock. He called 911 from his cell phone and gave accurate information. Shortly thereafter help arrived in the form of medical rescue. The Soldier was about to leave when I arrived.

I identified myself and showed him my ID. I praised him for his alertness and quick actions, which may have saved the woman’s life. I told him I would stay to provide religious support but would not go near the damaged vehicle. The situation around the vehicle was dangerous and I was not equipped to go near a vehicle. I waited until the passenger was extracted.

The NCO gave me his business card and left after he saw adequate rescue support. Immediately after he left a civilian man arrived. He identified himself as the woman’s husband. I went to him and introduced myself to him. I noticed his Army cap. He told me that his son is with the Mississippi National Guard and he and his unit had just returned from Iraq/Kuwait.

I told the husband how the NCO had stopped and helped. He told me that his wife was alive at least right after the accident because she had managed to call him before either the call dropped or she couldn’t talk anymore.

The rescue crew had to use a chainsaw to cut a few large tree limbs away from the vehicle. Then the used the “jaws of life” to rip the driver side door off and began removing the woman. The husband requested prayer. I held his hand and prayed for him, his wife, their son, the NCO, and the rescue team.

When we finished the woman was already strapped to the litter. The team quickly walked her up and slid her into the back of the EMS vehicle. The husband went with a police officer. I walked back towards my car.

I am glad I stopped, because I got to witness an NCO doing the RIGHT thing!! Lately I’ve dealt with an NCO who chose to do a wrong thing in public. But today proves that not all Soldiers exhibit bad behavior. Indeed, I would guess the vast majority of them are like this NCO.

He was alert, even with a passenger in his car. He was driving safely. He was noticing his surroundings. And his character and expression of the Army Values caused him to stop when he noticed something out of the ordinary. He acted quickly and called 911, giving them accurate detailed information and stayed until after help arrived. He did it by the book. And he didn’t have to. He could have kept on driving by.

But this NCO stopped. And he may have saved this woman’s life. I used the business card to call the Mississippi Army National Guard to praise this Soldier for his actions. I relayed the story and the Segeant on the other end of the line told me that the woman in the car was a mother to a Soldier in their unit that had just returned from deployment. The NCO not only may have saved the life of this woman, but unknowingly may have saved the life of one of his fellow Guardsman’s mother – and he didn’t know it.

This is a good example of a Soldier doing the right thing. Next time you hear a media report of a Soldier behaving badly, remember the Soldiers like this NCO who act honorably.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Christy Howell on 7 May 12 at 23:44

    as always, excellent post!

    Reply

  3. Posted by lisa on 8 May 12 at 10:04

    I always look forward to reading these. So inspirational!!!!!

    Reply

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