Fort Hood soldiers honored for saving lives

Soldiers honored for helping save lives over the summer.
Soldiers honored for helping save lives over the summer.(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 15, 2019 at 8:20 PM CDT
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Two soldiers were honored Thursday for the lives they saved during the summer.

News 10 was the only station on Fort Hood to capture the ceremony that took place on Cooper Field.

Some were honored for their years in the army, and others were recognized for volunteer work.

But there were two standouts who were recognized for stepping up when a life was at stake.

In May, Staff Sergeant Joshua McCartney was enjoying a relaxing afternoon with platoon members at Stillhouse Lake when screams erupted from nearby.

“Their family was screaming that somebody was drowning,” says McCartney.

With adrenaline pumping, he and other soldiers sprang into action.

“We rushed out there to get to him,” he says. “I happened to be the fastest swimmer out of everybody.”

McCartney says he found the young man about 30 yards out and 30 feet deep in the water before pulling him back to shore where others helped to pull the young man to safety and keep him conscious until EMS arrived.

“I just imagined if that was my kids- if I couldn't swim, I'd want someone out there to get them,” he adds.

Two months later in Killeen, a car crashed into a motorcycle, sending the soldier riding it, flying headfirst off his bike. Thankfully another local hero was nearby.

Corporal Tyler Blevins was driving from Austin when he saw the crash along Central Texas Expressway.

“I ran up and realized a motorcyclist had been thrown from his bike,” says Blevins.

With the help of another soldier, they called 9-1-1.

While Blevins checked for a concussion, the other held the rider to prevent a spinal injury.

“I talked to the guy to see if he knew where he was, what was going on, how badly he hit his head and made sure he wasn't bleeding- no broken bones,” says Blevin.

“I just assured him that everything was going to be okay.”

“Before I joined the army, I was with EMS as well, so it's just kinda second nature for me,” he adds.

The 1st cavalry members credit their military training for their quick instincts and life-saving responses but don't believe someone has to be a soldier to help others in their time of need.

“If you're able to save somebody, then do it,” says McCartney.

Take the jump or make the stop that could save a life.