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    Soldier's training put to the test, saves life as result

    Soldier's training put to the test, saves life as result

    Photo By Sgt. Rob Cooper | Staff Sgt. Jeremy Hammond is a unit mobilization assistor with Task Force Griffin at...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Rob Cooper 

    Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

    By Rob Cooper
    Crier staff writer

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. – The ability to adapt and overcome is second nature to any proficient U.S. Army Soldier on the battlefield, but what happens when a Soldier's abilities are put to the test in the most unlikely of places?

    For Staff Sgt. Jeremy Hammond, the test would come on a Saturday afternoon that would put his Soldier skills to the test and eventually mean the difference between life and death.

    Hammond, a unit mobilization assistor with the 205th Infantry Brigade, First Army, spends his days making sure that deploying units are well trained for the mission ahead.

    Coworkers describe Hammond as the kind of guy who isn't afraid to speak his mind and always strives to complete the mission, even if he has to do it himself.

    "Hammond's the guy who will attempt to do something even if he doesn't know how to," said the task force's senior unit mobilization assistant Sgt. 1st Class David Harrod.

    That "Go-To" attitude was put to the ultimate test, Aug. 25, during a motorcycle ride – a ride that Hammond will never forget.

    After meeting up with a group of eight riders near Franklin, Ind., Hammond, 26, took to the streets to enjoy the clear skies and warm weather during his off-duty hours. A seasoned rider with more than 14 years of motorcycle experience, Hammond reminded the other riders, whom he had never met before, to be careful.

    "As we turned onto (State Road) 58, I mentioned to everyone that they ride within their limits," he said.

    Everything was going well on the ride until the riders came up to a sudden left turn while westbound towards Seymour, Ind. Prior to the turn, Hammond was second to last in the pack, but that changed in an instant.

    "After we took the turn, I looked back and saw that no one was behind me," he said. "I had this gut feeling and had the group turn around."

    As the group turned around head back to the curve, thoughts churned through Hammond's head. "You're hoping that maybe someone's bike broke or something silly like that, but nothing serious," he said.

    As he approached the turn, Hammond soon found what had happened; a trashed bike along the road, skid marks along the guardrail, and the bike's owner 30 feet off the road. Hammond approached the group of other riders hovering around the young man, Alex Partlow.

    "There was a huge gash in his inner right leg, his femur looked broken and his femoral artery severed," Hammond said. "I remember his eyes rolling back and he went ghost white."

    At that point, something clicked inside Hammond's head. A certified Army combat lifesaver, Hammond's instinct took over. Using his belt as a tourniquet, Hammond quickly stopped the bleeding and treated Partlow for shock.

    "Your muscle memory kicks in, and you go into a zone," he said.

    Because they were so far out in the country, it took emergency services about 45 minutes to reach the scene. Partlow was rushed to the closest hospital by ambulance and later transported by helicopter to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. While in the emergency rooms, doctors told Hammond the obvious.

    "He wouldn't have made it without help," Hammond said.

    "The meat and potatoes of this story are that they were out in the middle of nowhere, with Hammond keeping this guy alive until help arrived," Harrod said. "The individual he saved owes it to Hammond and the Army training he received, no doubt about it."

    Hammond said that his training was what kept Partlow alive, who was released from the hospital two days after the accident.

    "That's why our training is so effective, because when something happens you react," Hammond said. "(My unit) always trained on how to prevent shock, and just like in training, I went to the obvious injury and treated it."

    "When I teach classes, I stress repetition," Hammond said. "Not because it takes up time, but that it creates proficiency."

    Harrod said that Hammond's proficiency shows his caliber as a Soldier and an individual, and has recommended Hammond for the Meritorious Service Medal for his good deed.

    "The one thing that sticks out in my mind is that when (Hammond) came upon the accident, the first thing he noticed were guys standing around trying to figure out what to do," Harrod said. "He got there, saw the bleeding, and immediately took action. Even trainers have to be prepared to accomplish the mission."



    Date Taken: 09.17.2007
    Date Posted: 09.17.2007 10:55
    Story ID: 12389
    Location: CAMP ATTERBURY, IN, US 

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