Marengo veteran awarded Soldier's Medal for bravery
April 30, 2012
WOODSTOCK -- Spc. James Halterman of Marengo, a former member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment in Woodstock, was awarded the Soldier's Medal April 22 for his heroic actions that saved the life of a fellow citizen in July 2011.
Halterman came upon the scene of a vehicle accident before first responders arrived and without regard for his own personal safety, pulled an unconscious driver out of a burning truck.
For his actions Halterman was awarded the nation's highest honor a Soldier can receive for an act of heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.
Brig. Gen. Steven P. Huber of Chicago, the Land Forces Component commander for the Illinois National Guard, presented the award to Halterman.
"The Soldier's Medal is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the president of the United States," said Huber.
Huber commended Halterman for his actions.
"On that day in July last year, James Halterman's training kicked in and, in an unselfish act, he saved a man's life. For that we're all proud of him," said Huber.
Halterman deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 with the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and volunteered to stay in Afghanistan for two more rotations before returning in 2011.
Maj. Nick Johnson, the commander of 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment in Chicago praised Halterman as a true citizen-Soldier.
"Spc. Halterman has proven himself as a Soldier," said Johnson. "His actions on that day, show that he's proven himself as a citizen. He is the kind of person we need to be."
First Sgt. Andrew Fowles, the senior enlisted adviser for Company D, praised Halterman's military service with Company D.
"His selfless service and his dedication to duty is not like I've seen in any Soldier I've met in my career," said Fowles. "That is just the type of Soldier that he is."
"I am incredibly honored to be here today as we recognize Spc. Halterman for his service with three tours to Afghanistan and his continued commitment to serving our citizens as evidenced by this heroic act," said Brian Sager, mayor of Woodstock.
"I don't know what to say," said Halterman. "I was shocked to hear that I was being presented the award. I think I was more nervous about being in front of everybody than receiving the medal."
Huber concluded the ceremony with a statement regarding Haltermen's actions.
"Spc. Halterman doesn't do these things for himself, he does them for us. And for that we all should be grateful."