Soldiers Medal awarded to former 80th Training Command (TASS) Soldier
April 7, 2013
Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Mark Rodgers, a former 80th Training Command (TASS) Soldier, received the Soldiers Medal for saving his family from a burning car during a ceremony in Champaign, Ill., April 4, 2013.
Rogers accepted the award from U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis for showing heroism after rescuing his two children and wife from their burning vehicle following an accident, July 22, 2008.
"This is the greatest honor I can have as a member of congress," Davis said. "He sacrificed his body to save his family."
Rogers and his family were in their vehicle at a standstill on Interstate 40 in Arkansas when a semitrailer hit them from behind. The crash sandwiched the car between the semi and another car standing still to the front. Rogers' car was burning and he was on fire. He jumped out through the passenger side door and smothered the flames on his body then returned to rescue his family trapped in the vehicle.
"This shows the difference between true heroes and those who think they are," said Maj. Gen. Bill Gerety, commander 80th Training Command (TASS), who participated in the ceremony with the commanders of the 416th Theater Engineer Command, and the 88th Regional Support Command.
"I'm excited and nervous to be here today," Rogers said. "I did it for my family."