FORT BRAGG, N.C. (April 15, 2013) -- On Feb. 21, Sgt. Luis X. Herrera, a licensed practical nurse with Company C, Womack Army Medical Center, XVIII Airborne Corps, received an Army Commendation Medal for saving the life of a 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper.
Herrera, a native of Laredo, Texas, has been in the Army for six years.
While stationed here, Herrera has followed the mission of WAMC, which is to provide the highest quality health care, maximize the medical deployability of the force, ensure the readiness of Womack’s personnel and sustain exceptional education and training programs.
During the course of his job on Jan. 27, while taking care of the spouse of a 3rd BCT paratrooper, Herrera noticed that his patient was receiving texts.
After observing her reaction to those texts, Herrera began to inquire about the nature of the texts and found out that her husband was going to commit suicide.
Herrera immediately gathered the facts and notified the paratrooper’s chain of command, military police and Family friends who enabled emergency services to locate the paratrooper.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the paratrooper’s house where they found him unconscious due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
He was then transported to the Emergency Department where he was later admitted.
Herrera’s attention to detail, situational awareness and initiative, were vital in preventing the suicide of the paratrooper.
“I am very greatful for the recognition the 3rd Brigade has given me,” said Herrera. “I just hope more people would react the way I did and do what we are trained to do.”
Sgt. 1st Class Jemal Cook, Herrera’s department noncommissioned officer in charge, said he was proud of the digging and researching Herrera did to save the life of a fellow paratrooper.
“He took the necessary steps,” said Cook.
“I just hope that more Soldiers would take the necessary actions,” Cook went on to say. “If Soldiers kept digging and researching, they could save a life. You need to take that extra step,” he added.
Sgt. 1st Class Allan N. Baros, WAMC