FORT BLISS, Texas - A Texas woman had an emotional reunion with three soldiers from a Northeast Wisconsin National Guard unit who are credited with saving the woman’s life.
In January, the soldiers from the Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery, based in Plymouth, were at Fort Bliss, Texas, to conduct training before a deployment to Afghanistan. One of the soldiers had gone to pick up two others from a missile range and drive them back to base camp. On the way, they passed the scene of a crash. According to an Army report, a car had veered off the highway, slammed into a guardrail and flipped six times.
The passenger in the vehicle, Linda Hartman, had suffered a cracked sternum, four cracked ribs and fractures in her legs – one of which severed her femoral artery.
The soldiers pulled over. Sgt. Michael Black, a combat medic, began treating Hartman, with Sgt. 1st Class Todd Richter helping. Spc. Joshua Aprill cleared debris from the road and directed traffic while keeping the uninjured driver of the vehicle calm.
The four, along with Hartman’s husband and father, reunited last Thursday in Texas. Hartman told the soldiers of her painful recovery, which involved several surgeries, including removal of a knee. She still has more than a year of recovery time, the Army says.
- Click the arrows above to see photos of the reunion
The Plymouth-based unit returned from its tour in Afghanistan last week.
Richter and Aprill were awarded Army Commendation Medals for their involvement. Black has been recommended for the Soldier’s Medal, the highest award a soldier can receive in a non-combat-related situation.
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