Sgt Mary Ehiarinmwian – One of the Heroes Among Us

By Faye Higbee

US Army Sgt Mary Ehiarinmwian came to the United States in a roundabout manner from Nigeria. After emigrating to Germany as a child, she eventually got married and moved to the US in 2016. She joined the Army in 2017. While stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii in June, she saved the life of another soldier in her unit when his car hit a road sign and flipped through the air in June, 2020.

US Army photo

Sgt Mary Ehiarinmwian was on her way to a PT session when the incident occurred.

In the early morning hours outside of Schofield Barracks, it was no coincidence the sergeant was behind a car moments before the disaster, she believes. “There was a purpose for me to be there.”

The car, a black Honda CR-X driven by another Soldier from her unit, collided with a road sign and flipped through the air before it pierced through the top of a security gate.

At the moment of impact, Ehiarinmwian “followed her instincts,” she said, and without hesitation, pulled over, got out of her car, and rushed toward the injured driver.

Like in her Army training, she gauged if the injured driver was responsive. After assessing “he was OK and not in any pain,” she pulled him from the vehicle with an underarm drag.

Meanwhile, smoke bellowed from the overturned car, and she feared it was a race against the clock. At any moment, “I felt like the car was going to burst into flames,” she said. “But at the time, I didn’t think of the danger.”

After guiding the driver to safety, “he tried to stand up, but to my knowledge when people are in a state of shock they’re not aware of their injuries,” she said. To prevent possible internal bleeding, she directed him to stay on the ground, safely away from his wrecked vehicle.

As soon as first responders arrived, and she saw that he was ok, she left for her PT session. The soldier came away from the accident with only minor injuries. She went on with her normal routine, and didn’t think anything more about it. Until her unit put her in for the USO Soldier of the Year award.

US Army photo

When the Sgt Maj of the Army (SMA) called her on the phone, she realized it was a national award, not just a local one.

“I felt like what I did wasn’t huge enough for the sergeant major of the Army to call me. It’s not every day you get to speak with the [SMA], so it was a big deal for me.”

Sgt Mary Ehiarinmwian

Shortly after the incident, she was assigned to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Germany. Since the COVID restrictions kept her from going to the US for the award, it was given to her in Germany.

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Sean Howard, senior enlisted advisor of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command awards U.S. Army Sgt. Mary Ehiarinmwian, assigned to 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the USO Soldier Of The Year Award on Panzer Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Dec. 15, 2020. Sgt. Ehiarinmwian is receiving the award for her act of bravery, heroism, and selflessness when she saved someone’s life from a car accident when she was stationed at Schofield Barracks, HI. Driving on her way to conduct physical readiness training, she saw the car in front of her lose control and roll over multiple times. Sgt. Ehiarinmwian rendered aid until the paramedics arrived on scene. Team 21 is happy to recognize this NCO for her efforts and display of the Army values.

21st Theater Sustainment Command on FB

Well done, Sergeant!


Featured photo via the 21st Theater Sustainment Command

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