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    Steel Brigade soldiers aid in roadside mishaps



    Courtesy Story

    113th Sustainment Brigade

    GREENSBORO, N.C. – We expect members of the military to travel to foreign lands to protect us. We often hear stories about long hours, going above and beyond the normal call of duty.

    For Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Robert C. Mullis Jr., early in the morning on Oct. 7, he was presented with just that situation.

    After leaving his home near Asheville, Mullis, heading to his friend, co-worker and fellow Soldier Master Sgt. Randy M. Ly’s house in Winston-Salem, came upon a shocking site.

    Mullis and Ly often carpool to work at the National Guard Armory; on this day, the rain decreased visibility in the area and made driving conditions somewhat dangerous. This concerned Ly when Mullis didn’t show up as was originally planned.

    “I thought something was strange,” said Ly when Mullis didn’t show up at his normal time. “He called me and said ‘Hey boss, I’m sorry but I’m going to be late.’ I could hear the rain pouring in the background.”

    As Mullis was making his way toward Ly’s house, through the downpour of, he noticed a set of head lights entirely out of place on the side of the road. A car had hydroplaned off the road and overturned behind the guard rail, just barely in sight.

    “She was hysterical about getting out of the car,” said Mullis of the driver, who was trapped in her vehicle.

    She said she had been stuck in the car for about 30 minutes, and no one had stopped to help her before Mullis. Shortly after Mullis made contact with the woman, another driver stopped to help as well.

    “We called the first responders and stayed with her until they got there,” Mullis said.

    Mullis joked with her, reassured her and even let her use his cell phone to call her husband. Soaked from the rain, he made sure she was taken care of before getting back into his car and heading to work.

    Mullis reacted quickly and calmly to the situation, just as he had been trained to do during his service with the Army.

    Many people wouldn’t have noticed a distressed commuter on the side of the highway. Of those who noticed, not everyone would have made the self-sacrifice to stop and offer help. And of those who would offer help, few would have the soundness of mind to know what to do. Mullis however did all of these things.

    “When he told me what happened,” said Ly, “there was no doubt in my mind. I knew he would just spring right into action. He’s the quiet type; he does it because it needs to be done.”

    Maybe there was something in the water, maybe Mullis started a trend, or maybe there’s just something about the soldiers assigned to the 113th Sustainment Brigade that makes them so willing to step in and help those in need.

    About a month after this incident, three other soldiers witnessed a car wreck and responded similarly.

    Sgt. 1st Class Scott T. Heineman and Staff Sgt. Arnold L. Newby, both residents of High Point, and Staff Sgt. Kirk R. Sanders, a native of Asheboro, were on sight when a vehicle crashed near the National Guard Armory in High Point.

    The three heard a crashing sound, said Newby. They looked out a window and saw a car off the road in an embankment.

    “The car was in the trees and it was on its side,” Newby said. “We ran outside to make sure [the driver] was okay.”

    Newby, who originally entered the Army as a medic, said he remembered his training.

    “[The driver] said he couldn’t move and he couldn’t feel his legs,” Newby recalled. “I thought maybe he was paralyzed.”

    “We knew to keep him calm and conscious and make sure he’s breathing and keep them still,” said Newby, reflecting on his Army medic training. “That’s the basic stuff they teach us.”

    Newby, Heineman and Sanders kept reassuring the driver would be okay until emergency professionals arrived at the scene. The car had been crushed so badly that the fire department had to use the “jaws of life” to cut the man out of his vehicle. The soldiers also help the EMTs pull the driver on a gurney up the embankment to where their vehicle was parked.

    “We’re here to help,” said Newby humbly. “We did what any normal person would do.”



    Date Taken: 11.25.2013
    Date Posted: 11.25.2013 14:03
    Story ID: 117345
    Location: GREENSBORO, NC, US 

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    Steel Brigade soldiers aid in roadside mishaps