I just heard this story on the local news tonight. Pvt. Montez was being honored here in California, for an incident on his very first patrol in Afghanistan.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The Commander of International Security Assistance Forces, Gen. David Petraeus, visited Camp Nathan Smith Dec. 20 to present a Soldier from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division with the Soldier’s Medal, for an act of heroism.
The Soldier's Medal is the highest award a soldier can receive for actions not related to combat. It’s awarded to any soldier who distinguishes himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.
Pvt. Marcus Montez, a medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said he had no idea that his very first patrol in Afghanistan would end with the life of an Afghan girl in his hands.
On the afternoon of Nov. 17, Montez and his squad were conducting a foot patrol through Shurdamn District in Kandahar City, said Sgt. April Luikart, medic assigned to HHC, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div. During the patrol, they came across a distraught Afghan woman with a lifeless infant in her arms.
“The child’s mother had given up hope that her little girl would survive,” said Luikart. “She was already being consoled by her fellow villagers for the loss of her child.”
Without hesitation, Montez sprang into action, conducing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation on the infant, said Luikart. He cut a necklace from around the child’s neck that had been obstructing her airway and began methodically performing CPR.
"The timing of the team and Montez’s exemplary actions led to the child being brought back to life,” said Capt. Jared Headley, patrol leader, assigned to HHC, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “This situation undoubtedly helped build upon our relationship with the Afghan community.”
What was extraordinary about these events is that Montez was the least experienced Soldier in the patrol said Headley. It was his first mission in Afghanistan, and his first time on patrol.
Private Montez: We salute you and thank you for your service.
Cross posted at Proof Positive