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    Army aviation trainee lauded for personal courage

    PFC Horton

    Courtesy Photo | Private 1st Class Mason Horton, a 15C Gray Eagle operator trainee with the 2d...... read more read more



    Story by Kelly Morris 

    U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence

    While one U.S. Army aviation trainee focuses on becoming an Unmanned Aircraft Systems operator, his efforts as a volunteer are making a difference in the lives of others.

    Private 1st Class Mason M. Horton, a 15C Gray Eagle operator trainee at 2d Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade, based at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, recently intervened to keep members of the local community safe while volunteering to help with security at a festival, and for his actions he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.

    “The Army Values guide Soldiers like Private 1st Class Horton to what is right on a daily basis. He demonstrated core values of personal courage and selfless service during a time of urgency and safety without any hesitation and with utmost professionalism. We are truly privileged to have PFC Horton within our organization,” said Capt. Tyra Takieddine, Company D, 2-13th Aviation commander.

    On Sept. 24, Horton volunteered to help provide security detail to support one of the post’s Morale Welfare and Recreation efforts at an annual fall festival event in Sierra Vista, when he noticed an individual who appeared too intoxicated to drive, with a small child in tow, walking toward a parking lot.

    Horton decided to approach the man and struck up a conversation to get more information and try to intervene.

    The man initially refused, but Horton persisted. Horton eventually called and paid for a cab with his own money to keep the man from getting behind the wheel, and he waited with them until the cab arrived to ensure they made it home safely.

    “That was not his job, but we teach these guys if you see something, you say something. He was not afraid to stand up and ask him, ‘hey, what are you planning on doing?’” said Staff. Sgt. William Lemmond, a Company D drill sergeant.

    Lemmond said the Army has a saying that “everybody is a safety officer.”

    “You see something wrong, you just address it,” Lemmond said. “Don’t be afraid, don’t hold back, especially when it comes to people’s safety.”

    In a society that tends to be risk-averse, Horton chose make a difference in a situation where the average person would not get involved, Lemmond said.

    “A lot of people in general tend to keep to themselves. They don’t like confrontation. They don’t like pointing out things due to backlash, or confrontation. He did everything we teach them,” Lemmond said. “We’re proud of him.”

    Horton was one of more than a dozen Soldiers volunteering that night. Some helped with cleanup, and others helped with security at event checkpoints.

    Horton said he has seen people get hurt in car accidents in the past, and when he noticed someone’s judgment was impaired, he just couldn’t be a bystander.

    “It was already late at night, I think (the event) was fixing to close down, and a lot more people were on the road. You don’t want anyone getting hurt or the kid getting injured,” Horton said. “There’s many people that could have been (impacted), and we wouldn’t even know their fate by the end of the night. The guy could have woke up the next morning and said, ‘really, I did that?’” Horton said.

    Horton is among more than 400 Advanced Individual Training Soldiers in Lemmond’s charge at 2-13th.

    “This group doesn’t have much downtime,” Lemmond said of the Advanced Individual Training “swing” shift where Soldiers rise at 1100, complete a rigorous training regimen, and bed down at 0330 the next morning.

    Horton is one of only two trainees Lemmond has seen receive the medal in his nearly two-year tenure there.

    According to Horton, it is the “fair but tough” leaders like Lemmond that help steer the Soldiers in the right direction.

    “I really appreciate my Drill Sergeant Lemmond here,” Horton said. “He is the best drill sergeant to ever come through D Co., 2-13th. He is there for any Soldier that needs help. He’s the one you can talk to about anything you really need.”

    Lemmond trains Soldiers to fulfill their generation’s opportunity to make the Army better.

    “It’s kind of like that old saying, ‘iron sharpens iron.’ One person can sharpen another,” Lemmond said. “This is the next generation of the Army, these guys right here — every single decade is the next generation. I’ve been in the Army exactly one decade longer than these Soldiers, so they’re going to take my job one day.”

    He hopes all the trainees carry with them one resounding message.

    “Live up to the Army Values,” Lemmond said. “It encompasses everything.”

    And that’s an area where Horton leads by example.

    “He showed moral courage,” Lemmond said “He stood up and just did what he had to do to get the job done.”



    Date Taken: 10.22.2021
    Date Posted: 10.28.2021 08:48
    Story ID: 407919
    Location: US

    Web Views: 135
    Downloads: 0