Citizen-Soldiers rescue elderly woman in dramatic flood video
May 4, 2011
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (Army News Service, May 4, 2011) -- Two Missouri National Guard Citizen-Soldiers became citizen-heroes after being caught on videotape while conducting the daring rescue of a 93-year-old woman from her flooded car on the swollen Black River May 3, 2011.
"Today is the reason why I signed up for the Guard," said Spc. Junior Bombard, of Ozark. "I knew one of these days I'd be needed like today, and sure enough, it happened."
Bombard and Sgt. Tim Bridges of the 1138th Military Police Company in West Plains and Springfield, Mo., were supporting local authorities when they received an emergency call around 9 a.m., about an elderly woman who had attempted to cross water-covered Highway 53.
The two Citizen-Soldiers worked with a winch cable as a safety line and teamed up to save the woman. The dramatic scene was caught on tape by Butler County Deputy Sheriff Bob Larkins, who assisted from shore.
"Our reaction was a combination of our training and natural instinct," Bridges said. "We knew immediately that we needed to act quickly, it feels awesome to know we were able to save a life today."
The two men mobilized when Gov. Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard April 25, 2011, as part of flood response efforts in the southeast area of the state. Currently, more than 760 members of the National and Air National Guard are supporting those flood response missions.
"Nothing makes you feel as good as being able to help your neighbors in Missouri," said 1st Lt. Monte Davault, commander of the 1138th MP Co.
Bombard has been a part of several water rescues during this state emergency duty, but this one was the most exciting by far, he said.
"That current was moving," Bombard said. "It was just one of those deals where we were in the right spot at the right time."
The woman was evaluated by local Emergency Medical Services personnel and released.
Missouri National Guard members continue to provide security, sandbagging, first responder and evacuation support, levee monitoring, route reconnaissance, traffic control and door-to-door safety checks.