Jan 10, 2014 1:06 PM by Nikai Salcido

Arizona Guardsman to be honored for saving soldier

PHOENIX - An Arizona Army National Guardsman will receive the Army Commendation Medal at the Pettycrew Armory on January 12, in honor of his quick response saving the life of his friend and fellow guardsman after a near deadly vehicle accident last summer.

Pfc. Edwin Carter, a motor transport operator with 222nd Transportation Company based in Florence, had just returned from basic and advanced individual training when he and Spc. Rashaad Gregory, an air conditioning and refrigeration repairer, with the 3666th Support Maintenance Company in Phoenix, were side-swiped on July 28. The car accident caused Gregory's skull to tear away from his spine. Carter was able to use his military training to stabilize Gregory's head and neck until paramedics arrived.

When Gregory arrived at the hospital the outlook from his injuries was bleak. This type of injury is referred to as an internal decapitation and typically results in death or paralysis. Gregory's father was told that his son would be a quadriplegic and be dependent on a ventilator for the rest of his life. After successful surgeries to repair his internal injuries and fuse his spine and skull, Gregory started to make progressive improvements that led doctors to be more optimistic about his recovery.

On Nov. 15, Gregory left the hospital with his father by his side using a walker for assistance, and on Dec. 6, Gregory returned to drill for the first time.

On Jan. 12, Gregory will be present to see Carter receive the Army Commendation Medal.

(U.S. Army photo by Capt. Amanda Hammond)


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