Three Soldiers awarded Soldiers Medal
May 5, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - On April 28, Sergeant Nicholas Anderson, a mental health specialist with Winn Army Community Hospital, Maj. Sabon Shelton, evening/night supervisor with Winn ACH, and Sgt. Hubert Hensen, a medic with Winn ACH were awarded the Soldier's Medal for their role in defusing the hostage situation at the hospital last September.
Major General Robert Abrams, Third Infantry Division commanding general, alongside Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson, 3rd ID command sergeant major, presented the medals to the Soldiers.
"I don't know these three gentlemen, but I know their actions that day," Maj. Gen. Abrams said. "And actions speak louder than words. I don't know if they talk the talk but they certainly walk the walk." He added that Soldiers who live the warrior ethos are irreplaceable.
For Maj. Shelton, the award wasn't entirely a good thing.
"This is a bittersweet moment for me," he said, adding that a Soldier was in need of help and the incident showed that one of his battle buddies was in need of help. He also said he felt the Army wouldn't be successful if veterans continued to be homeless, unemployed and experience substance abuse problems.
Sergeant Henson held back tears as he spoke when he received the award. He spoke to the assailant, a former Soldier, as the two were stationed on the same base in Iraq. Sergeant Anderson steadfastly refused to let the assailant enter the area the gunman requested to go during the crisis.
The Soldier's medal is given to Soldiers who display acts of bravery in a non-combat setting.
The incident occurred on Sept. 6, when a former Soldier entered the facility and took hostages, dissatisfied with his treatment. The three recipients played an instrumental role in disarming the hostage taker and releasing hostages. All three chose to stay and help diffuse the situation instead of go to safety.