Back in June three Fort Hood NCOs from 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and a Deputy from Bell County Sheriff’s Department in Texas were credited with saving the life of a suicidal soldier. A ceremony was held on October 7 at Fort Hood to give them Life Saving awards from the Sheriff and Army Achievement medals for the soldiers.
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It was our pleasure yesterday to honor three NCO’s from Ft. Hood with the Life Saving Award, along with our Sergeant, Christopher Wilcox. These four exemplified the most valiant effort to save the life of a fellow Soldier who was on the brink of suicide.Bell County Sheriff 10-07-2021
June 19, 2021
An intoxicated soldier called up an NCO friend and told him that he was going to Chalk Ridge Falls in Bell County and planned to jump. According to the Military Times, he had previously made threats but never followed through on them. Those involved could have ignored him, but this time for whatever reason, they followed up. A Chalk Ridge Falls ranger notified deputies that she had seen a dark SUV near the falls. There is a walkway with a railing around the area.
Staff Sgt. Stephen Gulczynski had arrived at the scene and Gulczynski told the deputies he knew the soldier and asked if he could talk with him.
The soldier was on his mobile phone, talking with someone while Gulczynski and the deputies were trying to get him to back away from the edge.
That’s about the time that Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Ketch and Sgt. Corey Clark arrived. Both also knew the soldier.
As they all continued to try to talk the soldier down he would ask for cigarettes and walk away from the railing to get a cigarette from his fellow soldiers.
Clark got along the railing and grabbed the soldier’s right arm. Gulczynski “rushed forward” and put the soldier in a bear hug to keep him from falling.
The deputy jumped in, grabbing the soldier’s right arm as well.Fort Hood NCOs
The men then pulled the soldier back from the railing and the deputies put him in restraints.Military Times
It’s a fact that most veterans or active duty military respond better to other veterans than civilians or even civilian authorities. The Fort Hood NCOs got through when a local LEO could not.There is always someone to talk to in suicidal situations, but sometimes the best of intentions gets nowhere. Sgt Wilcox tried valiantly to establish rapport with the soldier, but was unable to get through.
When the other three NCO’s showed up, their background and their friendship with him helped to establish a rapport with that. I don’t think I could have ever established in the time frame that I had…They’re the true heroes. Not just in serving our country but in serving their fellow soldiers in the way they did that night.Sgt Christopher Wilcox, Bell County Sheriff’s Department to KXXV
They answered the call and a life was saved for now. Great job!
Featured screenshot: Bell County Sheriff’s Department. Left to right: Fort Hood NCOs Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas A. Ketch, Staff Sgt. Stephen Gulczynski, Staff Sgt. Corey A. Clark Jr, and Sgt Christopher Wilcox of BCSD
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