Sgt Alexander Jabin – Soldier’s Medal Recipient. Heroes Matter

By Faye Higbee

Sgt Alexander Jabin is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Western Washington. One night in March of 2019, he heard a bang and looked out his barracks window to see people running around in flames. That’s when he sprang into action, risking his own life to save another. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for his heroism.

Lt. Gen. Randy A. George, commanding general, I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, presents the Soldier’s Medal to Sgt. Alexander Jabin, satellite operator/maintainer, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Dec. 1, 2020, at the Master Sgt. Mark W. Coleman Compound. Jabin was awarded for rescuing a driver from a burning vehicle following a collision in March of 2019.
(Photo by Spc. Joshua Belser, Combat Documentation/Production Specialist, Public Affairs, 1st SFG (A))

March, 2019, 02:30 a.m. JBLM, Tacoma, Washington

In a video released by the 1st SFG on Tuesday, Sgt Alexander Jabin described the night when he and two other soldiers saved the life of a citizen.

Jabin dove quickly under the fence (surrounding the Special Forces compound) and ran to the car, which was on fire,” Sgt. Komi Amenyo, who was the duty noncommissioned officer that night, an Army statement said.

He could hear screaming and, as he got closer to the burning vehicle, heard someone saying “Help me! Help me!,” Jabin said in the Army video.

Josiah Caro-Yost and Aaron Cavazos, who were specialists assigned to the 1st SFG at the time, were already on the scene, but the driver was stuck and the flames were growing hotter.

“The fire had gotten pretty intense, so we backed away,” Cavazos said.

But Jabin rushed in and tried to get the driver out.

“I tried to rip the door open but I was only able to rip off some of the car parts,” Jabin said in the statement. “It was a cold night, but the fire from the collision grew more and more intense, like a big bonfire.”

He reached in and tried to unbuckle the seatbelt, but that failed, so he turned and called for a knife to cut the straps. Amenyo tossed him a knife, but by then the flames had completely engulfed the car and the driver was on fire, Jabin said.

The driver was able to move and had pulled his upper body out of the driver’s side window, but appeared to be trapped and contorted, and continued to scream for help. So Jabin rushed back over to pull him out, calling for Cavazos and Caro-Yost to assist him.

Stars and Stripes

Jabin used his own T-shirt to smother the flames on the man, who was on fire from the waist down. When Jabin’s t-shirt caught fire, Caro-Yost used his jacket to finish smothering the flames, as Jabin cut the belt and burning clothes off the man’s body.

Screenshot from video: U.S. Army Sgt. Alexander Jabin, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), is presented with the Soldier’s Medal by Lt. Gen. Randy George, Commander of I Corps., for acts of exemplary heroism at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. on Dec. 1, 2020. Jabin was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for actions he performed to save the life of a fellow service member that was involved in a vehicle fire in March of 2019. (U.S. Army video by Staff Sgt. Paul Sale)

Sgt Alexander Jabin received 2nd degree burns on his face, arms, and hands from helping the gentleman. He also provided first-aid and comfort to the man while awaiting the ambulance.

“He reminded us by his actions what a ready soldier looks like. He moved quickly to save another person’s life and he did this at the very real risk of sacrificing his own life.”

Lt. Gen. Randy George, I Corps , Base Commanding General

Sgt Alexander Jabin is a satellite operator/maintainer with 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis McChord. The Soldier’s Medal is awarded for exemplary valor outside of military combat.

Screenshot from video showing the Soldier’s Medal. The medal was established on July 2, 1926. It is awarded for “distinguishing oneself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.” In this case there were two enemies: time and flames. Screenshot of U.S. Army video by Staff Sgt Paul Sale

“In the Army, no one succeeds alone. I did my part alongside others.”

Sgt Alexander Jabin

*****

Featured photo: From Left to right, Col. Ryan Ehrler, commander, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Sgt. Alexander Jabin, satellite operator/maintainer, 4th Battalion, 1st SFG (A), and Lt. Gen. Randy A. George, commanding general, I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, pose for a photo after Jabin was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, Dec. 1, 2020, at the Master Sgt. Mark W. Coleman Compound. Jabin was awarded for rescuing a driver from a burning vehicle following a collision in March of 2019.
(Photo by Spc. Joshua Belser, Combat Documentation/Production Specialist, Public Affairs, 1st SFG (A))

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