By Staff Sgt. Samuel NorthrupNovember 22, 2016
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- A noncommissioned officer with 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal Nov. 18, 2016, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., for her assistance in a multiple-vehicle accident.
The accident occurred early October 2016. Staff Sgt. Heather King, a career counselor with 1-14th Cav., had just returned from leave and was on a drive toward Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, with Soldiers from her unit to participate in a training exercise.
Her vehicle had just made it over a hill when she saw an accident ahead involving a white sports utility vehicle and a black sedan. The sedan was lying in ditch, but the SUV was still on the road -- with its three occupants still inside.
King, a native of Enterprise, Ala., assessed the situation. She instructed some Soldiers to direct traffic around the accident. She then assisted the man in the black sedan first since it seemed he needed help urgently. After stabilizing the man and dressing his head wound, she left him in the care of a civilian nurse who was also on the scene. She then went to the SUV.
"It was instinctive," said King. "I went into medical mode and did everything that I had been trained to do in the Army."
Inside the SUV was a mother with her two daughters. King, who had spent 10 years as an Army radiology specialist, helped immobilize the youngest daughter to prevent further injury.
Emergency Medical Services arrived and King explained what had happen to the technicians. The EMS crew took over and King and her fellow Soldiers got back on course to their training destination.
"She never even mentioned the incident to me directly," said Command Sgt. Maj. Tony Towns, the senior enlisted advisor for 1-14th Cav. and King's supervisor. "I found out through others in the unit. She did not have to do it, but she felt obligated to do it."
King said she didn't do anything that any other Soldier would not have done given the same situation.
"That is one of the great things I love about the Army: we take care of our own and we take care of anyone we cross paths with," she said. "It is all about upholding those Army values."