By Ms. Megan Garcia (Benning)September 24, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. -- It takes a brave person to stop an attack against a complete stranger, especially when it means risking one's own life.
Nevertheless, that's exactly what Pvt. Sean Duffy and his friend Pfc. Cris Croswell did two months ago. Although risky, Duffy said if he had to do it all over again, he would, because that's what living up to the Army Values means.
"When I was in basic training, my drill sergeants instilled in us that no matter what the situation is, always live up to the Army Value [of] selfless service," said Duffy, who is a cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. "You always protect the civilians of the United States. No matter what, you risk your life."
In early July, Duffy and Croswell were sitting in a parking lot in downtown Auburn, Alabama, when they heard a couple arguing with one another on the sidewalk close to the parking lot.
"They were being extremely loud, so we turned the music down to listen," Duffy said.
The couple continued to walk down the sidewalk until they stopped closer to Duffy's car. According to Duffy, the female began screaming that she had been abused, and although he thought that maybe she was just overly intoxicated, he still continued to pay attention.
"She said, 'He's got a gun. He's trying to kill me,'" Duffy said.
Duffy and Croswell exited their cars to further assess the situation and to see if in fact the male was carrying a weapon. Duffy grabbed his Army Combat Helmet out of his trunk to use as a deterrent if necessary. That's when they saw the male put a gun to the females head and say, "I'm going to shoot her."
In that moment, Duffy and Croswell proceeded to act.
"My battle buddy goes around from the right, I go from the left, and he's backing up in the alley with the gun still pointed," Duffy said.
Duffy added he also threw his helmet at the male, and although he did not hit him, the action caused the male to take off running. Although the situation could have ended there, it didn't. Duffy and Croswell pursued him.
"It was important for me to catch him because he threatened someone's life, and that was just how I was raised," Duffy said. "You don't threaten someone's life, and you don't abuse women."
Shortly after catching up with the man, police showed up and arrested him.
Sgt. Rafael Garcia, who serves as Duffy's first-line supervisor, said although he was shocked to hear of Duffy's bravery due to his newness to the Army, he's not shocked at Duffy's selfless attitude.
"I can always count on (Duffy) to complete the mission," said Garcia. "When last-minute missions come up, I know I can go to him because he will get it done. When we ask for volunteers, he's the first one to put himself out there. And if someone else volunteers, he'll talk to them to make sure it doesn't interfere with something else they may have going on."
For his actions, Garcia and their platoon sergeant recommended Duffy for the Army Commendation Medal, which he was awarded earlier this month.
"I see him on track for being a good leader and NCO," Garcia said. "He's an outstanding Soldier."