FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- When people witness a horrific crime, few have the personal courage to take action in a crisis. That is precisely what Pfc. D'Marcus Ranson did when he saw a woman in need of help while on leave for the holidays in Lubbock, Texas, Dec. 25, 2018.

While enjoying time spent with his brothers on Christmas Eve, Ranson, a motor transport operator with the 110th Composite Truck Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, left the night club at approximately 3:30 a.m. when he witnessed what appeared to be a fight.

"Everything was perfect until we left the night club," said Ranson.

As Ranson and his brothers were leaving, they saw a large crowd of people in one area of the parking lot. The first thing Ranson noticed were people screaming that someone had been stabbed.

As Ranson approached the scene, he observed a woman, later identified as Passion "Monea" Burtraw, lying on the ground appearing unconscious in a pool of blood.

"Everyone was crying, people were throwing up, and others were stepping over her to record it with their phones, but no one was helping her," said Ranson.

Ranson's first and only thought was to take the initiative to help Burtraw. He noticed the multiple stab wounds on her neck and abdomen and immediately took action by using his shirt to apply pressure to stop the bleeding until paramedics could arrive.

"I had to do the right thing," said Ranson. "The Army gave me the confidence and integrity to take action when no one else would."

United States Army Soldiers share a perspective that differs from normal civilian life in America. First Aid training is one of the Army's highest of priorities to save Soldiers on the battlefield.

"You would expect to see something like this overseas, but never in your hometown," said Ranson.

Pfc. Ranson was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for rendering emergency first aid to save the life of Burtraw at a ceremony held here, Jan. 29, 2019.

"As crazy as things got that night I'm thankful I was able to be there for Passion Burtraw in a time of need. It was an experience I'll never forget but more than anything I thank God for keeping her in his arms and allowing me to see her smiling and recovering well. Most definitely she will be in my prayers. I will never forget her, and no matter how far I'm away from her I will always stay in touch with her," said Ranson.