Soldier's Medal presented to AMC officer
July 20, 2012
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- July 20, 2012-- A U.S. Army Materiel Command officer received the Soldier's Medal for saving the life of a civilian employee during a flood at an official ceremony here, Friday.
Lt. Col. Jimmy Bowie, assigned to the chief of staff office at AMC, was honored among his friends, family and peers with the Soldier's Medal for his actions following the April 27, 2011 tornados.
The Soldier's Medal is the highest honor a Soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation.
Not only had tornados devastated the Tennessee Valley region during the April tornados, but massive power outages, and flooding occurred too.
Melissa Wheeler of Toney, Ala., found herself trapped in her vehicle and surrounded by water.
Bowie neared the road and after noticing the waters rising he deemed it not passable.
"I put the truck in reverse and decided to turn around when I noticed something," Bowie recalled. "It was pitch black and the water rose, to the floor boards of the truck."
Bowie pulled his vehicle into the flooded area that surrounded Wheeler and she was able to climb through the window to safety.
Bowie described himself as shocked when he heard of the award nomination.
"I've had three combat tours and I've seen some pretty heroic stuff," said Bowie.
"What I did that day is a small part of what everyone did that day," explained Bowie, referring to the tornado relief efforts the citizens of Alabama took part in. "There were thousands of people doing the exact same thing that evening."
Col. Anthony Potts, project manager for aviation systems, nominated Bowie for the Soldier's Medal after working with the Wheeler family to identify Bowie, who did not leave a name after dropping her off at home.
"He continued to go into harm's way at the chance there could be someone in those waters," said Potts, describing the reasons he nominated Bowie. "That's the amazing part of a Soldier, the heart to serve."