News: KFOR soldier performs life-saving actions, receives NATO MSM
Story by Sgt. Samantha Stoffregen
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – A Kosovo Forces soldier received the NATO Meritorious Service Medal for life-saving actions performed July 7, 2013, in Kosovo.
U.S. Army Sgt. Paul Flores, a soldier with 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, from Fort Bragg, N.C., and a native of Los Angeles, received the NATO MSM from Naples Commander Admiral Bruce W. Clingan, Allied Forces commander, in a presentation at KFOR Headquarters in Pristina on Jan. 13.
"I was just doing my job,” Flores said. “That is what I told them, I don't deserve this. You wouldn't thank a chef or a cook for doing their job. I just don't think that I deserved it, and I still feel that way."
At the time, Flores was a member of the personal security detail for the Multinational Battle Group-East commander. The command and escort vehicle were on mission to Prizren.
Flores said the convoy was heading westbound when they encountered the accident.
“We saw that there was a car and a bus that collided [head-on],” Flores said. “The car was destroyed. It was a miracle that no one was seriously injured and everyone walked off the bus.”
According to U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Derreck Fischer, the command team’s personal security detachment noncommissioned officer-in-charge and a native of Houston, Texas, he and others in their two vehicle convoy stopped to assist.
"[We] contained the engine fire from the sedan that hit the bus head on, after the fire was out [another soldier] controlled traffic, while I cleared the bus to make sure there were no more injured personnel on the bus," said Fischer describing the scene.
Fischer said during that time, Flores was providing first aid to the fee collector from the bus. According to the accident report, the individual had sustained a deep laceration to the head, approximately five cm. long, which was bleeding heavily.
"It was a team effort for the most part,” Flores said. “I couldn't have done this without everybody. Col. Woods was the one who decided to stop and help, and Sgt. 1st Class Fisher was the one directing traffic. I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing."