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    Massachusetts Soldiers save New Jersey woman they found while training

    Upholding 379-year tradition helping others as Citizen-Soldiers

    Courtesy Photo | Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Steven Littlefield (from left) Massachusetts National...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. John Quinn 

    1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment

    JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ – Two mechanics put their skills as Soldiers and civilian firefighters to use after coming across an 87-year-old woman who spent the weekend stuck in the woods.
    Staff Sgt. Dana Francis and Sgt. Tommy Coppola - members of G Co. 186th Brigade Support Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard - found the woman Monday afternoon.
    The Soldiers were looking for a suitable location to conduct recovery training and spitted the Cadillac, which had become stuck in the soft sand along a wooded tank trail.
    “At first we didn’t know what to think of it because it was suspicious,” Francis said, adding they honked the horn several times before approaching the vehicle.
    The car had all its doors open and a sunshade in the windshield. Francis said that was when they spotted the woman slumped in the backseat. He added they called to her, but she was “unresponsive.”
    “We knew she was breathing,” Francis said, adding they didn’t want to startle or endanger the woman without medical equipment.
    The two non-commissioned officers, who are civilian firefighters, immediately headed to a position where members of A Battery of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment were conducting part of their Annual Training.
    Francis and Coppola found Spec. John Shively and Pfc. Aaron Amardey-Wellington, - both medics of Headquarters & Headquarters Battery of the 1-101 FAR – and guided them to the scene to assess the woman.
    “I ran up to the vehicle and found she was just waking up,” Coppola said. “We were thinking the worst when we first started.”
    Coppola said the woman was confused at first and unable to explain how she got stuck so deep in the woods which border Highway 539.
    After helping the woman into the military ambulance, they learned how she became stuck in the woods Saturday morning and had not had anything to eat or drink – save some rainwater from passing thunderstorms. It appeared she was suffering from severe dehydration and was possibly experiencing heat illness. The weather conditions were extremely hot and the heat index rose more than 100 degrees during the day.
    Lt. Col. Holloway, commander of the 1-101 FAR, praised the four Soldiers for their actions.
    “It was by chance that the contact team was traveling down this remote tank trail and came across the elderly woman. Their response and quick action are just another example of what being a Citizen-Soldier is about,” Holloway said.
    “Those four individuals did the right thing,” Holloway said. “They immediately knew what to do. I’m extremely proud of these great Soldiers.”
    While further details about her condition were not available, she was feeling significantly better and talking normally while waiting for her daughter to pick her up, according to officials from Joint Base police.



    Date Taken: 07.27.2016
    Date Posted: 07.28.2016 07:39
    Story ID: 205300
    Hometown: BROCKTON, MA, US
    Hometown: DORCHESTER, MA, US
    Hometown: LAWRENCE, MA, US
    Hometown: QUINCY, MA, US
    Hometown: SOMERVILLE, MA, US

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