By Randy Tisor, Fort Carson MountaineerMarch 5, 2009
FORT CARSON, Colo.-A Soldier from the 759th Military Police Battalion was honored Feb. 27 for his lifesaving efforts involving a climber who fell while rock climbing at the Garden of the Gods.
Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Rodriguez, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 759th Military Police Battalion, was in the park with his Family and friends Feb. 7 when he heard the climber fall. Rodriguez's lifesaving efforts, in all likelihood, saved the severely-injured climber's life.
For his actions, Rodriguez was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. The award was presented by Col. B. Shannon Davis, deputy senior commander and chief of staff, Fort Carson.
"It's people like him that are heroes in our Army that go out to be heroes for our citizens of the community," Davis said, addressing a crowd of Soldiers, Family members and local media. "I'm very proud of him."
Those words were echoed by Rodriguez's company commander.
"It's a well-deserved award for a Soldier that went above and beyond. He was helping out a fellow citizen and an Airman. I'm proud of him," said Capt. Noel Bergeron, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 759th Military Police Battalion.
Rodriguez also told the crowd that, although he greatly appreciated being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, he never expected to receive anything for his actions. He was also grateful, he said, that he had received Army training that allowed him to effectively respond to the accident.
"I ask you to pray for Jeffrey," Rodriguez said, addressing the crowd and referring to the injured climber. "He's still in critical condition."
Rodriguez left for Warrant Officer Candidate school shortly after the ceremony. When he finishes warrant officer basic course and specialized training, he plans to return to the 759th as a property book officer.
The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves during a noncombat-related event.