Kansas Soldier awarded Commendation Medal for lifesaving bravery while training with Ugandan land forces
U.S. Army Spc. Juan Salazar, Company D, 418th Civil Affairs Battalion, shakes hands with Brig. Gen. William Glasgow, deputy commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), after being awarded the U.S. Army Commendation Medal March 29, 2011.
Salazar, from Kansas City, Mo., was recognized for acts of heroism Sept. 1, 2010, in Uganda where he saved the lives of a Ugandan People's Defense Force soldier and the life of Spc. Scott Alexander of the 418th when a truck in which they were traveling through Moroto District was swept away while fording a stream, killing the civilian Ugandan driver.
After saving the two soldiers, Salazar tried to aid the trapped driver who had worked his way onto the vehicle's roof, but the man slipped into the water and was pulled out of reach by the current.
Salazar assumed control of the situation and led a joint search party consisting of American and Ugandan soldiers to recover the driver, who was later found to have died from his injuries, said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Lawrence, Delta Company first sergeant.
"Spc. Salazar's focus and determination enabled the team to navigate through several kilometers of thick vegetation, frequented by deadly Karamojong warriors, without further incident," Lawrence said. "Through his determination and calm demeanor, the search team was able to find the driver within a few hours."