Soldier puts people first, saves life of battle buddy

Capt. Phillip Herold, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 75th Field Artillery Brigade commander, left, presents the Army Commendation Medal to Pfc. Jason Hernandez for his actions on the night of July 25 when he saved a teammates life, July 28. Photo by Capt. Joshua Huiss

Something as simple as checking on a teammate could save their life and this is what happened July 25, when a Soldier with the 75th Field Artillery Brigade put people first.

“Finding him like that, I just did what anyone would do and took care of my best friend,” said Pfc. Jason Hernandez a fire control specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 75th Field Artillery Brigade. “I was pretty scared, but I believe in putting people first, so that’s what I did.”

After duty hours that Monday, Hernandez decided to check in on his friend and teammate. When he found him, he realized the Soldier was in the middle of a life-threatening mental health crisis. He immediately acted by notifying the chain of command and transporting the Soldier to a local hospital.

“[Hernandez] easily could have called it a night and went to sleep,” said Capt. Phillip Herold, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery commander. “He did what we ask all Soldiers to do and look out for each other. He didn’t wait; he didn’t hesitate. He came up with a plan and took the right actions that saved a Soldier’s life.”

Hernandez stayed with the Soldier for more than 14 hours and after leaving the emergency room, he continued to assist the Soldier, who was later moved to another facility.

“This is a prime example of intervention and ‘People First,’” said Col. David Norris, 75th Field Artillery Brigade commander. “Hernandez’s tactical expertise and dedication to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the ‘Diamond Brigade.’”

For his actions, Hernandez was awarded the Army Commendation Medal during a ceremony July 28.

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