NCO jumps into action on, off-duty
April 7, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Sgt. 1st Class Garret Brunton made no hesitation when he witnessed a vehicle cut off a motorcyclist, sending the rider to the pavement.
Brunton, operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge for Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, jumped into action and took control of the scene until emergency personnel arrived.
"I saw a vehicle turn in front of a motorcycle and the motorcycle had to lay his bike down hard to avoid a collision," Brunton said of the March 23 incident at Clemson Road and Interstate 20. "I made a u-turn and called 911. Then I moved him and his bike out of the road and did a casualty assessment. I checked for bleeding, burns and did small tests to make sure he didn't have any fractures. I left his helmet on in case there was a neck injury."
Before emergency responders arrived, Brunton also called the motorcyclist's wife to let her know what happened. Luckily the motorcyclist wasn't seriously injured.
"While the motorcyclist's life did not appear to be in danger, what Sgt. 1st Class Brunton did was what you might expect of an NCO," said Patrick Killian, an instructor at the Soldier Support Institute who witnessed the incident. "I watched as he went through the motions with confidence and professionalism. No doubt, had the situation been worse, I know he would have done what was necessary."
Brunton said helping the motorcyclist was just part of his duty, the Army Value he cherishes the most.
"When you see someone hurt, you help them," he said. "Taking care of a buddy isn't just on the battlefield. It is also taking care of Americans."
While not working or enjoying his time off playing basketball and hunting, the Fort Jackson NCO volunteers his time at Burnside Elementary School. This past Christmas he played Santa Claus for the students.
"It was a great experience seeing all of the excited children," he said. "Some of the families out there have a hard time getting presents for their kids and we were able to provide some gifts for them."
Sgt. 1st Class Garret Brunton
Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment
Military occupational specialty
Years in service
Basketball and hunting