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    Soldier’s Medal Awarded to 82nd Airborne Division Alum for Saving Man’s Life

    Soldier's Medal Awarded to 82nd Airborne Division Alum for Saving Man's Life

    Photo By Spc. Justin Stafford | Maj. Gen. James J. Mingus, the 82nd Abn. Div. Commanding General, awards Capt. Travis...... read more read more

    FORT BRAGG, NC, UNITED STATES

    10.09.2019

    Story by Spc. Justin Stafford 

    49th Public Affairs Detachment

    Capt. Travis A. Johnson, a native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and a physician assistant assigned to the 60th Medical Detachment, North Carolina National Guard, received the Soldier’s Medal during an awards ceremony at the Hall of Heroes on Fort Bragg, Oct. 9, 2019.

    Johnson’s quick and selfless actions helped to save a man from a burning vehicle last year while he was assigned to 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

    “I didn’t care or think about my safety,” said Johnson. “I did what any other 82nd Paratrooper would’ve done.”

    While driving home, just before midnight, after a long day of flight surgeon duties on Feb. 27, 2018, Johnson noticed an overturned sedan beginning to catch fire in an embankment on the side
    of the road.

    He stopped his car and ran toward the mangled metal and flames calling out to anyone who may still be inside. The voice of an injured man yelled back to him from the driver’s seat. He was trapped and the car doors wouldn’t open.

    Johnson sprinted back to his vehicle to retrieve a glass breaking tool and trauma shears from his medical kit.

    “You want to be prepared for any contingency,” Johnson said. “That is why I had all that stuff on me. The Army trained me that way.”

    A woman stopped to assist and Johnson instructed her to call the authorities while he continued the rescue attempt.

    He wailed on the windshield with the tool, but it only cracked the glass. He began kicking the windshield, but small explosions kept knocking him back, Johnson said.

    Eventually, his boot went through the glass and made a hole large enough for him to grasp. He then used the jacket of his fire-retardant uniform to protect his hands as he grabbed the windshield and pulled it off.

    He passed the shears to the trapped driver to cut the seatbelt, pulled the injured man away from the danger, and then began rendering first-aid. The car was completely engulfed in flame when the first responders arrived.

    Johnson said the driver was in stable condition and able to walk. Aside from his uniform having “melted car” on it and some shallow cuts on his hands, Johnson wasn’t seriously injured. He taped up his hand because he cut it on the glass.

    “The ambulance came and they asked if I wanted any medical treatment,” said Johnson. “I told them I was fine and I just want to go home and take a nap.”

    Johnson credits the Army with his ability to focus that night despite being tired.

    “The Army trained me well to just focus on the problem and solve the problem,” Johnson said.

    Maj. Gen. James Mingus, the 82nd Abn. Div. Commanding General, recognized Johnson’s heroic actions during Wednesday’s ceremony on the stage in front of Family, friends and Soldiers.

    Mingus described Johnson as the definition of a hero, as well as the origin of the award. The Soldier's Medal is the Army’s highest award for heroism outside of combat.

    “He saved another man’s life at his own risk and expected nothing in return,” Mingus said. “He’s the definition of a hero.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.09.2019
    Date Posted: 10.09.2019 17:58
    Story ID: 346998
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

    Web Views: 81
    Downloads: 1
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    Soldier’s Medal Awarded to 82nd Airborne Division Alum for Saving Man’s Life