OWENSBORO, Ky. (LEX 18) – Two Kentucky guardsmen will receive the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal after saving the life of an elderly Owensboro man.
Spcs. Casey Brandle and Justin Stinnett, both with the 206th Engineer Battalion, are credited with pulling 87-year-old David Hamilton from his vehicle after he lost control and drove into floodwaters, trapping him inside.
A local Sheriff’s Deputy reported that Hamilton lost control of his vehicle and plunged into the waters along a stretch of highway.
The deputy witnessed Brandle and Stinnett “selflessly and without hesitation” jump into the water, swim to the vehicle and assist Hamilton out of the car and up the embankment where emergency personnel would arrive to care for him.
Hamilton was treated by the deputy and EMTs who noted that he sustained no serious injuries. Hamilton paid a visit to the 206th armory in Owensboro March 19 to say thank you again to Brandle and Stinnett, and to honor the new friendship with a group photo.
“I might forget what happened that day, but I’ll never forget them,” said Hamilton. “They are heroes. And you don’t have to go to war to be a hero.”
The Soldier’s Medal is the Army’s highest peacetime award for valor.