Two soldiers with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 405th Brigade Support Battalion, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in North Riverside rendered first aid to victims involved in a traffic accident Sept. 14 on the corner of Des Plaines and Roosevelt in Chicago.
Spc. Johanna Hernandez of Des Plaines, Ill. and Spc. Jovonta Devon Duncan of Plainfield, Ill., were returning from lunch when they witnessed an accident occur when a vehicle collided with a SUV in a funeral procession. The accident caused the SUV to roll over. The Soldiers left their vehicles and proceeded to pull the people of the car and give first aid until first responders arrived.
"We heard the screeching of the tires and then impact of the vehicles colliding,"said Hernandez. "Then we saw the SUV flipping, which is when we ran to go help."
"The car was smoking so I knew we had to get the people out of the vehicle as soon as possible," said Duncan.
Hernandez said soldiers are trained year around in first aid, survival and how to make decisions under intense pressure.
"My military training played a big role in how I reacted," said Duncan. " I assessed the situation and took action."
"It was just the right thing to do," said Hernandez.
For their actions, Duncan and Hernandez received a commanders coin from Col. Troy Phillips the brigade commander of the 404th Manuever Enhancement Brigade in Chicago.
"What these Soldiers did embody the National Guard's motto of 'Always Ready, Always There," said Phillips. "These Soldiers through their training acted without hesitation and that is direct reflection of their training with the National Guard."
Phillips said he was proud of his Soldiers for taking action.
"It is an outstanding achievement and they acted an opportunity to step up and help someone, and that deserves to be recognized," said Phillips.