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    Watching for signs: Soldier saves best friend’s life

    Watching for signs: Soldier saves best friend’s life

    Photo By Pfc. Joshua Zayas | Spc. Andrea Stevenson, a Baltimore, Maryland native and Army food service specialist...... read more read more

    FORT CARSON, CO, UNITED STATES

    03.14.2022

    Story by Sgt. Kelsey Simmons 

    4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

    FORT CARSON, Colo. – Spc. Andrea Stevenson, a Baltimore, Maryland native and Army food service specialist assigned to 115th Quartermaster Field Feeding Company, 4th Division Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was working at her desk when her cell phone rang.

    It was her best friend.

    While stationed together at Fort Carson, Colorado, the two met, but her friend recently moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Miles apart, the two friends remained in touch and often called each other throughout the week, discussing anything from relationships, their children and life in general.

    Stevenson said she excitedly answered the phone, expecting another one of these conversations, but could immediately tell something was wrong with her friend.

    "She was crying," Stevenson said. "She told me she was done with life and her relationship. She said she wasn't calling for me to talk to her, only to tell me she loved me. She put money aside for her kids, and told me to take care of them because she was done."

    After her friend hung up the phone, Stevenson immediately turned to trusted leaders for help.

    "I was anxious," Stevenson said. "I was worried. I felt a thousand emotions. I felt like I had no time."

    Due to her quick reaction and the help of a kind stranger, Stevenson was able to save the life of her closest friend.

    "You don't have time to evaluate when someone else's life is in your hands," she said. "She called me because she knew I would do something about it."

    While Stevenson waited, she called a police station near Fort Bragg. She described to the officer details of her friend's vehicle and her address, with hopes of being able to find her in time.

    Stevenson then spoke to anyone else who she thought could help find her friend– mutual friends, coworkers and leadership.

    "This all happened in two hours," she said. "During that time, I was still calling her, but she wasn't answering the phone. I texted her pictures of me, my babies and my boyfriend because we were all close friends. I told her just because we were 1,500 miles away, it didn't mean she didn't have anyone who loved her. I gave her encouraging words someone in her position needed to hear in a time of need and temporary hurt."

    After hours of not knowing if her friend was still alive, she finally heard from her again.

    "She called me after two and a half hours, still crying," Stevenson said. "I asked her if she was okay and she said, 'Yeah, I'm okay. I didn't hurt myself."

    Stevenson soon found out her friend was planning on stepping in front of a moving train. Luckily, a good Samaritan appeared and saved her life.

    "As the train crept closer, she began to approach the tracks," Stevenson said. "Suddenly, an older man reached out and grabbed her arm, saying, 'You don't want to do that, little lady.'"

    Once she turned around, the man was already gone.

    After hearing her friend tell this story, Stevenson said she believed the man was a guardian angel and his appearance was a sign.

    "This means you are supposed to be here," Stevenson said to her friend on the phone. "It was not your time."

    When the police arrived at her friend's location, Stevenson asked to speak with them. She asked the deputy to hug her friend and comfort her since Stevenson wasn't there to do it herself.

    According to Stevenson's supervisor, Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Taves, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge of 115th QM Field Feeding Co., her quick reaction to the situation is credited to the 4th Inf. Div's. effective suicide prevention training.

    "I was just amazed at how caring and resourceful she was," Taves said. "I'm so proud of her for saving a life."

    Stevenson's heroism was rewarded with a coin from Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims, senior enlisted leader of the U.S. Army Forces Command.

    Since the incident, Stevenson said her friend has made tremendous progress and is doing much better now, but she knows mental health is a constant battle, and it's her obligation always to fight that battle with her.

    "It is very important to watch out for your battle buddies, because you never know what they are going through," Taves said. "Always ask how they are doing and watch for any signs that they are struggling."

    Stevenson said she urges anyone contemplating taking their own life to reconsider and think about everyone who loves them.

    "It's okay to not be okay," she said. "You are deserving and worthy of being here on this earth, and no one should tell you otherwise."

    If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or Text 838255 to get Help NOW.

    -30-

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.14.2022
    Date Posted: 03.21.2022 13:50
    Story ID: 416461
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US 
    Hometown: BALTIMORE, MD, US
    Hometown: FORT BRAGG, NC, US

    Web Views: 84
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN