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    Soldiers helping Soldiers

    Vehicle fire

    Photo By Staff Sgt. James Avery | Once the smoke grew too thick, Capt. Phil Lakin and 2nd Lt. Rachel Mingo moved away to...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Matthew Pargett 

    1st Brigade Combat Team,10th Mountain Division (LI)

    FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- When a car in Watertown started smoking this last Wednesday evening, two 1st Brigade Combat Team Soldiers offered their assistance without hesitation. While these Soldiers initially thought they were helping a stranger in need, they soon discovered they were coming to the aid of one of their own, a fellow Soldier in the Warrior Brigade.

    As Capt. Phil Lakin arrived at the scene, there was already a significant amount of smoke coming from the vehicle. With his first reaction to check for passengers in the smoking vehicle, he promptly left his car to see if his help was needed.

    “I didn’t really think about it, I just reacted. I saw someone who might need help [or] might need assistance so I just reacted and made sure everyone was okay.”

    In the car just behind Lakin was 2nd Lt. Rachel Mingo.

    Noticing the smoking vehicle, she also realized that emergency responders had not arrived at the scene, and knew she had to see if everyone was okay. She put on her hazard lights, and as she approached the vehicle, she saw Lakin, who asked her to check on the driver, another Soldier, who was in a state of disbelief nearby.

    “He was in shock, and mentally freaking out that his car had just now caught fire,” said Mingo.

    Ensuring that he was physically unharmed, she started helping Lakin carry belongings from the smoking car to their vehicles for safe-keeping. With each trip, the smoke grew worse, and both Soldiers knew they would not be able to save everything.

    Noticing an open flame from the vehicle, Lakin started yelling at everyone to get back to safety.

    Taking the driver to her vehicle to wait for emergency responders, Mingo tried to comfort him as he watched his car burn.

    “Even though it wasn’t my car, I could only imagine how he was feeling. Even with everything happening, I was absolutely amazed with how well he handled the whole thing.”

    With the arrival of emergency responders, the fire was out within minutes.

    On that evening and without initially knowing who needed assistance, Lakin and Mingo demonstrated more than a few of the Army Values. Looking back, they are just happy they were able to help where they could.



    Date Taken: 12.06.2019
    Date Posted: 12.07.2019 11:26
    Story ID: 354642
    Location: FORT DRUM, NY, US 
    Hometown: TAMPA, FL, US
    Hometown: WESTERLY, RI, US

    Web Views: 728
    Downloads: 1