Sgt. Ian Tyrel, a Green Beret, earns Soldier’s Medal for saving an injured woman from drowning. Tyrell and a friend took a trip to Port Royal State Historical Park, located several miles east of Clarksville, Tennessee.
During the day, both Tyrell and his friend noticed a commotion in a river near them. From there, they saw a woman drowning, then straight away, they dove into the river and heaved her into safety.
Tyrell determined that she had broken her leg due to the force of the current. However, the first responder who came didn’t have the necessary equipment to treat the injury. They were in a secluded area where it is hard for medical emergency services to reach.
“The only thing I could find to make an improvised splint was the oar.” Tyrell says he then snapped the oar and fashioned it into a makeshift splint.
He proceeded to care for the woman until she was loaded onto the life raft. Tyrell then helped guide the raft through the rapids to an evacuation point.
“He didn’t think about it…His training kicked in, and he did what comes naturally.” – Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan Jr., commanding general of 1st Special Forces Command, the 5th Special Forces Group.
The Soldier’s Medal was pinned to Staff Sgt. Ian Tyrrel on July 14 by Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan Jr. It is the service’s highest award for bravery at the risk of one’s own life outside of duty.
“One of the great things we get to do is recognize bravery… It’s common to recognize our Soldiers in a combat zone, but what Staff Sgt. Tyrrel did is not common.” Maj. Gen. Brennan said during the ceremony.
“The lady needed help,” Tyrell said. “I helped her.”