FORT KNOX, Ky. - When Spc. Casey Mayo and Spc. Ramon Melero returned home earlier this year from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, they thought the days of hearing cries of "Medic!" were done. But just shortly after their long-awaited return home, the battle buddies soon learned why being a soldier is a 24-hour duty.
During a routine visit to the Post Exchange on Fort Knox, Ky., Mayo and Melero, both medics assigned to the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, were stopped in their tracks by a woman’s cry for help.
“With the experience I gained from deployment, when you hear a call for help the ‘medic mentality’ sets in,” Melero said.
Running to the sound of the woman’s voice the soldiers quickly broke through a crowd of frightened onlookers and took control of the situation, Mayo remembered.
“What I learned in combat, serving in a leadership role, made it easier to take charge of the situation and direct the bystanders to be helpful during the situation,” Mayo said.
Fearing the woman may be suffering from shock or another unknown issue, the soldiers rapidly took over the scene and began taking the woman’s vital signs while directing individuals to call 911.
While the two combat medics anxiously awaited paramedics to arrive, they provided continuous casualty care and were able to dissolve panic. After a few short moments paramedics arrived on scene and escorted the woman to the ambulance.
The lady, who had once been in a state of panic yelling for help, seemed to be calm and in good spirits as she was taken to the ambulance, the two soldiers said.
“Being a soldier is a 24-hour-a-day duty, and these soldiers embody the warrior ethos and exemplify what it means to be a combat medic,” 1st Lt. Gregory Hough said. “It shows that training for a combat medic is not always used in a combat situation.”
The units motto of "Always Ready" was cemented by the soldiers' actions, Hough said.
For his actions, Melero received the Army Achievement medal during a small ceremony Dec. 13 at Fort Knox’s Mansfield Motorpool.
Mayo is scheduled to receive an AAM later this month.