• Sergeant Matt Durbin, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle gunner, stands before the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment "Regulars" to be recognized for his January 4 actions during which he and four other Soldiers helped civilians that were injured in a car accident. Durbin's quick, proficient response in applying a tourniquet to a wounded civilian's injured leg directly resulted in her life being saved.

    2nd Brigade, 1st AD Soldier helps save life

    Sergeant Matt Durbin, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle gunner, stands before the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment "Regulars" to be recognized for his January 4 actions during which he and four other Soldiers helped civilians that were injured in a car...

  • Sergeant Matt Durbin, left, stands beside Lt. Col. Robert Purvis, the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment commander during a formation in which Durbin was recognized for his heroic actions after a January 4 car accident. Durbin, an infantryman, saved the life of a civilian who's leg was severely injured in a car accident, by quickly applying a tourniquet and slowing the bleeding. His actions, and the actions of four other Fort Bliss Soldiers, helped ensure the safety of the civilians involved in the accident.

    2nd Brigade, 1st AD Soldier helps save life

    Sergeant Matt Durbin, left, stands beside Lt. Col. Robert Purvis, the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment commander during a formation in which Durbin was recognized for his heroic actions after a January 4 car accident. Durbin, an infantryman, saved...

Around 5:20 p.m. on January 4, 2012, Sgt. Matt Durbin witnessed a car accident as he was leaving Fort Bliss on his way home.
"All I saw was a van go from the far right lane to the far left lane really fast, and run into the median. I pulled up behind her and started to assess the situation," Durbin said.
Durbin, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is an infantryman in the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment as part of the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. He has been serving in the U.S. Army for a little over six years and has deployed twice in his career; once to Afghanistan and once to Iraq.
Having no real idea of what to expect, Durbin, pulled behind the vehicle and discovered that the driver of the van received a very serious gash to her leg, so he did the first thing that most infantrymen would do when confronted with trauma of this sort: he applied a make-shift tourniquet to slow her severe bleeding. Very shortly thereafter, four more Soldiers arrived to help.
"I don't know how things would have went if I weren't in the military," Durbin said. "Obviously throughout my military career and having been deployed twice, I've gotten used to doing these things. It just becomes muscle memory," he said.
Muscle memory, a phrase that every Soldier has heard at least once, refers to the act of being able to perform without thinking.
"Sergeant Durbin performed what is expected of any Soldier in this organization," said Sgt. Maj. Mason Bryant, the 1-6 Inf., sergeant major. "He saw someone that was hurt and, due to his years of training as an infantryman, acted without thinking to save her life."
After more than a decade of combat operations in numerous locations, today's Soldiers are more than just trained and proficient in their warrior and combat tasks, they are also trained for civilian situations as well.
The Soldiers of 2nd HBCT, 1st AD, keep their skills sharp during the semi-annual Network Integration Evaluation exercises and subsequent preparation training. The NIE places Soldiers at the forefront of the critiquing and evaluation of new equipment and network capabilities by placing them in environments similar to those in combat theaters then using that feedback to positively enhance the safety and security of currently deployed forces.
"This is a perfect example of how the Soldiers of 1-6 operate on a daily basis," Bryant said. "I feel proud, just as any leader should, that one of his Soldiers was able to act so quickly and proficiently in such a critical situation," he said.
As for Sgt. Durbin, he views his actions as nothing more standard procedure.
"I was just happy to be able to help somebody," Durbin said. "I'm a humble person. I know my job, I perform my job to the best of my abilities and all I needed to do was react," he said. "I'm thankful for my training and the opportunity to save a life that day."

Page last updated Wed January 25th, 2012 at 14:43