By Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 160th SOAR (A) Public AffairsMay 21, 2015
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (USASOC News Service, May 21, 2015) -- It was midday Aug. 2, 2014. Staff Sgt. Jeremy Samuels, a medic and then student attending the Combat Skills Training Course assessing to become a part of the 160th Specials Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), was driving down the road near Fort Campbell, Ky., when he witnessed a horrific accident between three vehicles.
Without hesitation, Samuels parked his vehicle and sprinted toward one of the vehicles, ignoring the 2-foot-high flames projecting from the engine compartment.
Samuels attempted to open the door of the burning vehicle, but because of the its extensive damage, the door wouldn't budge. As the flames grew higher and started spreading across the rest of the vehicle, Samuels used a closed pocketknife to strike the window until it shattered and removed the female passenger from the flame-engulfed vehicle.
Samuels used his advanced medical training to assess the passengers from each of the three vehicles and applied first-aid treatment to those who needed it; ignoring wounds he sustained while extracting the first passenger.
For his heroism and disregard for his own safety, Samuels was rightfully awarded the Soldier's Medal, our nation's highest non-combat related heroism award, May 20, 2015, at the 160th SOAR (A)'s compound.
Presenting the award was Brig. Gen. Erik Peterson, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command.
"I am proud and humbled to present this award to Staff Sgt. Samuels," said Peterson. He went on to say that his actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, the 160th SOAR (A) and the United States Army.
The Soldier's Medal was established by Congress on July 2, 1926, and is presented to any person of the armed forces who performs an act of heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy.