JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (March 29, 2022) — Five Advisors with the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade were recognized today as recipients of the Washington State Patrol Life Saving Award, March 29, 2022, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.
Washington State Patrol Capt. James Mjor, the District Eight Commander, presented the award to U.S. Army Capt. Seamus Bradley, Command Sgt. Maj. Dario D. Gundersen, 1st Sgt. Gerado Moran, Staff Sgt. Richard Lawson, and Sgt. Lonnie R. Williams, of the 5th SFAB in honor of their responsiveness to a serious traffic collision and subsequent vehicle fire which they encountered on Sept. 16, 2021 in Grays Harbor County, Washington.
“My Soldiers and I saw people smashing car windows trying to extract somebody,” said U.S. Army Capt. Seamus Bradley, a physician assistant officer with 6th Battalion, 5th SFAB.
The Advisors had just finished a week-long validation training in Camp Rilea, Oregon, and were driving back to JBLM, when they arrived at the scene of the collision.
“We immediately pulled over to assess the situation,” Bradley said. “I grabbed my aide bag to run and offer medical assistance. There was a passenger trapped in the pickup truck. As my Soldiers started to secure the scene, I was rendering medical aid to the passenger.”
The accident victim, Montanna Driver, admits that she does not remember everything from that day, but that she does remember Bradley coaching her through the earliest moments of the chaos.
“To the courageous men standing in front of me, I want to thank you for the huge impact you have made in saving my life,” Driver said. “I admire you all for doing everything that day to save me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don't think about that.”
When Washington State Patrol arrived on the scene they were met by Command Sgt. Maj. Dario D. Gundersen, 6th Battalion, 5th SFAB.
“The Army trains Soldiers in the fundamentals of emergency management,” Gundersen said. “ I am proud of how we functioned together and glad we came around that corner when we did.”
The Washington State Patrol Life Saving Award is for citizens, employees, and or other law enforcement officers who take lifesaving action toward another person.
The 5th SFAB Advisors represent the top tier of U.S. Army Soldiers as SFAB Advisors are assessed and selected for SFAB service on a volunteer basis and only after careful vetting based on past performance and experience.
“These five Soldiers displayed humility through their actions,” said Captain James Mjor, commander of Washington State Patrol District 8.
“They served our nation and our citizen on that day and continue to wear the uniform 365 just like we do.”