Soldier Receives Recognition For Act of Bravery
(April 12, 2011)
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq (April 8, 2011) – “I went in
the living room and couldn't see anything – it was all black and thick,”
said Spc. Shane Darst, describing a house fire. “I got down on my knees
and crawled into the living room. There was only about an inch between
the carpet and smoke where you could see clear across to the kitchen but
you could see the fire ripping the kitchen apart.”|
Shane Darst, an armor crew member serving with
Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 1st
Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, waves at a
passing patrol near Contingency Operating Site Warrior, near Kirkuk,
Iraq, April 3, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux)
Darst, an armor crew member serving with Company D, 2nd Battalion,
12th Cavalry Regiment, “Thunderhorse,” attached to the 1st Advise
and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, received a
recommendation for the Department of Defense Soldier's Medal for
saving a neighbor's life in his hometown of Marengo, Ohio when he
was home for environmental morale leave in December 2010.
Darst said he and his wife just arrived home when he heard something
that sounded like fireworks about two houses down. Realizing the
sound was a transformer exploding, Darst said he ran to the house
and entered after learning someone was still inside.
said he began yelling for his neighbor to make some type of noise if
he or she could hear Darst's voice.
“I heard something fall
over and inside my head I said please God let that be him,” said
After finding a girl inside, Darst dragged her out
the front door to safety.
Upon returning to COS Warrior, Darst received a ‘Devil Brigade' coin and
a Certificate of Achievement for his act of courage.|
Shuell, Darst's best friend, also serving with Company D, said he thinks
Darst receiving the Soldier's Medal is well deserved.
heard about it, I was proud of him,” said Shuell, who hails from
Portland, Ore. “He's definitely the type of guy who will go out of his
way for you.”
Congress officially introduced the Soldier's Medal
in 1926 to recognize acts of bravery outside of combat. The criteria for
receipt of the medal requires the member, serving under the U.S. Army,
to encounter personal danger and a voluntary risk of his or her life –
an act of bravery Darst said he did not think he could do.
thing that made me do it was that girl's scream,” said Darst. “I kept
thinking, if that was my daughter, if that was me in there, I'd want
somebody to come get me. I never thought I'd be able to do something
like that but whenever it happens, it's like, either you do it or you
After the incident, Darst said he visited the family
several times before he returned to COS Warrior.
happy, he said, and although they lost belongings, he was glad to be a
part of them having a merry Christmas by allowing them to have the gift
of each other.
Darst is scheduled to receive the Soldier's Medal
during an upcoming awards ceremony hosted by Thunderhorse Battalion.
By Army Spc. Kandi Huggins
1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
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