Spc. Alexander Small from 3-69 Armor, 1ABCT, 3rd ID, shakes hands with 1ABCT Commander, Col. Trent Upton, after Upton awarded the Army Commendation Medal to Small for saving the life of a fellow Soldier.
Photo by Sgt. Daniel Guerrero
Soldier looks out for others, helps save a life
Spc. Alexander Small, a Soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, June 19 on Fort Stewart for saving a fellow Solder’s life.
Small was returning to the battalion’s motor pool on June 18, when he walked by Pfc. Samuel Mabie, who was unconscious in his privately owned vehicle during his break from gate guard duty in the rear of the motor pool.
“When I came back from lunch, I saw him in his truck while it was running and thought he was just sleeping,” said Small. “I saw him sleeping and decided to wake him up because I didn’t want him to get in trouble.”
Small said he started knocking on the glass to try to wake him up, but Mabie was not reacting.
“I started yelling and shaking the truck and that’s when I realized this might be a real issue because he was not responding,” said Small.
Additionally, Small started to notice that Mabie’s appearance was not normal.
“He didn’t appear right and his skin was really pale, said Small. “His eyes were open, but they were twitching and rolling into the back of his head.”
Small said his condition looked to be getting worse as the attempts to wake Mabie were not working.
“He started drooling and spitting,” said Small. “It looked like he was trying to wake up, and originally I thought he was having a seizure.”
With continued attempts to wake Mabie with other Soldiers by this time, the military police was called. Upon arrival, the MPs notified and dispatched emergency medical personnel. At this time, the MPs made the decision to break a window and gain access to Mabie.
“When they pulled him out he was limp and I thought he was suffering from heat exhaustion,” Said Small.
Mabie was taken to the hospital and treated, but not for heat exhaustion. While Small was filling out reports with the MPs, he was still concerned about Mabie’s condition.
“I was able to hear things over their radio so I asked one of the MPs about Mabie’s condition, I wanted to know how he was,” said Small. “That’s when we found out he had carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Small said about an hour after Mabie was taken to the hospital he gained consciousness. Mabie was treated and has recovered from the event.
“Honestly I’m not entirely sure how I feel, I’m just glad he’s ok,” said Small.
Thanks to this instincts and decisive actions, Small saved the life a fellow Soldier.
Small said since that day leaders are making sure Soldiers are continuing to check on each other.