CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines valor as the strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness or personal bravery.
Pfc. Shane Woods, of Newfane, N.Y., a multiple launch rocket system crewmember who is assigned to C Battery, 6th Battalion 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, demonstrated exceptional valor on July 27 at the Mud Festival in Boryeong.
Woods saved a young Korean boy from drowning while swimming in the ocean. "We were down at Mud Fest during a battery trip swimming in the ocean, just having a good time, and all of sudden I heard a little girl yelling," said Woods.
According to Pvt. Justin Jones, of Eugene, Ore., also a multiple launch rocket system crewmember assigned to C Battery, everything happen so fast he didn't know what was going on.
"All I seen was Woods darting off into the water," said Jones.
As Woods looked over his shoulder he saw a little girl struggling to keep the boy above water as his tube continued to float way.
The tide was coming in and was pulling the children farther into the ocean, recalled Woods. They were stuck going wherever the water was taking them.
Woods felt a deep personal connection to the situation. He had just returned to Korea after attending a funeral for a hometown friend who had drowned.
"I didn't want the little kids to drown," said Woods. "I wasn't looking for any glory. I just knew I had to save him."
When asked to describe Woods character his platoon sergeant used the words "humble" and "go-getter."
"Woods is a wonderful Soldier. When he arrived here in Korea, with less than three days on ground, Woods took part in the best-by-test competition and won," said Sgt. 1st Class Steve Robitailleof Harker Heights, Texas. "He never looks for any type of reward; he just does whatever needs to be done," Robitaille continued.
Woods believes that being part of the military means fulfilling certain obligations. At that moment, Woods knew his obligation was to save this little boy from drowning.
"We are over here to help out with everything, no matter what it is or how big or small the situation maybe," said Woods. "I felt it was my duty to swim out there and save the little boy."
Soldiers of 210th Fires Bde., demonstrate the real character of being a U.S. Soldier with their actions, both as part of the Alliance and as part of the community. They are committed to building strong community relationships and embracing cultural opportunities whenever possible.