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    Soldier Helps Save Life of Suicide-Attempt Victim

    Soldier Helps Save Life of Suicide-Attempt Victim

    Courtesy Photo | Army Staff Sgt. Ta’ Quesha S. Abson, an instructor in the Practical Nurse Course...... read more read more

    By Bernard S. Little
    WRNMMC Command Communications

    August 8 began like most days for Army Staff Sgt. Ta’ Quesha S. Abson as she headed to work to fulfill her military duties. But as fate would have it, the day was far from usual for her. It would be the day that her actions helped save a life.
    An instructor in the Practical Nurse Course (68C) Phase II at Walter Reed, Abson was on temporary duty assignment (TDY) at Fort Liberty, North Carolina on that fateful day. “At first like everyone else, I was worried about making it to post on time; I was not going to stop. I was moving to the far-right lane like everyone else. I told myself, ‘Here goes another car accident; I hope I’m not late.’ However, something told me to look. Yes, I am very spiritual, and I know it was the Holy Spirit. I still did not want to [look] at first, but then I did it. Although I was a way back, my vision was so clear, and I saw what was happening, so I raced out of line and did what I was trained to do with everything I had in me,” she explained.
    What she was trained to do as a 68C licensed practical nurse is “provide the highest level of quality medical care by performing preventive, therapeutic and emergency nursing care.”
    According to her 1st Sgt. Michael Kelsey of Charlie Company, Medical Readiness Brigade, National Capital Region (NCR) at Walter Reed, Abson was going to the Armed Forces' Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) class at Fort Liberty when she saw the civilian with a rope around his neck jump from the Santa Fe Drive bridge over All American Freeway in Fayetteville. “She immediately pulled her car over and rushed to the victim to begin utilizing the skills she has as a licensed nurse in the U.S. Army, conducting triage on the victim. Once she noticed that there was blood along his backside, she stabilized the victim’s cervical spine to prevent further damage to his spinal system. While waiting for first responders to arrive at the scene, her calming and caring demeanor allowed the victim to remain still and not further injure himself.”
    “This is something I will never forget,” Abson added. “I will never forget his scent, the blood on my hands or seeing the black rope hanging from the top of the overpass or the orange and yellow rope he used to make the noose.
    “I will never forget the sounds of the sirens and looking around realizing it was real, although I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience,” Abson continued. “David met his Goliath that day, and I also met mine. I found purpose, confirmation, validation, and a sense of self-worth,” she shared.
    “Being in the Army as a nurse or medic, you are always told things like, ‘You did your job; you do not need to be rewarded for doing your job. I felt like I just did my job that day, as sad as it may sound. I never expected to receive any accolades or recognition. I got so comfortable just being a Soldier, a number, a medic, a nurse, a person who goes to work and comes home because that is what was instilled. But I was honored that I was there to respond and was in the right place at the right time. It was God’s will, and I may have helped save him, but he also helped save me. I serve my country proudly, but I now know that I am more than what has been instilled," Abson shared.
    A native of Englewood, New Jersey, Abson comes from a family of service. Her mother served 22 years in uniform, both enlisted and as an officer. Her husband, Staff Sgt. Bryant Abson, is also active-duty Army and they have six children. She said that one of the reasons she joined the Army was to ensure she gave her children the life they deserve. “I brought them into this world, so I refuse not to make the best life possible for them and still reach my goals. So, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and decided to serve my country, be resilient, and change our lives.”
    Abson earned the Meritorious Service Medal for her actions on Aug. 8. Kelsey has also nominated her for the 2023 Armed Services YMCA Angel of the Battlefield Honor.
    Regarding those who may be considering suicide, Abson says, “A lot of times they just want to be heard; they want someone there, not someone telling them how or where to go. Letting them express themselves and giving them the autonomy to talk themselves down and actively listen helps. Yes, I would suggest resources and stay with them through the process. I will never turn away from someone in need, but I also know words can make or break a person no matter how innocent in your comments. Some people are not ready to hear the truth no matter how much you sugarcoat it. I do not want the words that I say to be the last thing a person hears, and they make the ultimate decision to end their life because I did not know the right thing to say or how to say it. There are individuals who are more qualified than I am, but at the end of the day, we all are human and should be treated as such, with dignity and respect.”
    September is Suicide Awareness Month, and the ongoing theme “Connect to Protect” encourages people to be there to support one another. The following resources are available if you, a loved one, or even a stranger needs help:
    • Military Crisis Line: 24/7, free support for all service members and veterans. Dial 988, press 1, or text 838255.
    • Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. Dial 988, press 1.
    • Psychological Health Resource Center: 24/7 support and assistance for service members, veterans, and families. Call 1-866-966-1020.
    Recognize the Signs of Those at Risk
    If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, there may be cause for concern. Seek professional guidance right away if you, a loved one, co-worker, or friend is:
    • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself/themselves or others.
    • Experiencing excessive rage, anger, or desire for revenge.
    • Seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means of harm.
    • Having feelings of anxiety, agitation, or hopelessness.
    • Talking or writing excessively about death, dying, or suicide.
    • Repeatedly reliving past stressful experiences.
    • Unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.
    • Experiencing uncharacteristic dramatic changes in mood or behavior.
    • Withdrawing from friends, family, or society.
    • Feeling there is no reason for living.
    • Engaging in significant alcohol or drug use.
    • Feeling trapped, like there is no way out.
    • Engaging in risky behavior, such as driving recklessly.



    Date Taken: 09.14.2023
    Date Posted: 09.14.2023 11:13
    Story ID: 453422
    Location: US

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