An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Nov. 14, 2023

New York Guard Airman Honored for Rescuing Car Crash Victim

By Alexander Rector, 174th Attack Wing Public Affairs

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joshua Carter, director of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Operations Support Squadron’s commander’s action group, received the New York State Medal for Valor in a ceremony at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base Nov. 8. The squadron is an element of the 174th Attack Wing.

Carter, a drill-status Guardsman, was recognized for actions when he and his son responded to a car accident while on vacation.

On Sep. 1, 2022, Carter witnessed a vehicle cross two lanes of traffic and crash into a bridge abutment. Carter immediately pulled over, directed his son to call 911, ran to the car and pulled the driver out of the burning vehicle to safety. As more bystanders stopped to assist, Carter assessed the driver for head injuries and treated the victim for shock.

“It was instinctual just to pull over and help,” said Carter. “Somebody needed help clearly, and it wasn’t on me to figure out why.”

Carter, who deployed overseas to Afghanistan in 2012, credits his military training for providing him with the skills to intervene.

“Prior to deploying, I went to Combat Airman Skills Training (CAST), which was at Fort Dix, New Jersey,” said Carter. “It was a several-week course where they teach you how to treat for various injuries.”

Carter said he attended CAST during the height of the Iraq War. The training emphasized the treatment of traumatic brain injuries and car accident victims due to the threat of roadside bombs during convoy operations.

“There was no hesitation, and it wasn’t a thing I had to think about,” said Carter. “I’ve heard those stories where people say their training just kicked in, and mine did. It was actually helpful.”

Maj. Gen. Raymond Shields, the New York adjutant general, and Maj. Gen. Denise Donnell, commander of the New York Air National Guard, presented the award on behalf of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“What a tremendous way to celebrate what the National Guard is all about,” said Shields. “I can’t thank you enough for the great work that you do.

“We talk all the time about how critical and how important our Soldiers, Airmen and our civilian employees are to our organization, and this just further demonstrates,” said Shields. “You’ve got a Guardsman going about their life and then actually helping someone and saving somebody’s life.”

In an earlier ceremony, Carter’s son, Aiden, was presented with the New York State Liberty Medal by New York State Sen. John W. Mannion.

“I’m thankful to be part of an organization that provided me the skills and training to be able to know what to do in this situation,” said Carter. “It came real close as another 30 seconds to a minute and I honestly don’t think he would have made it. I’m very thankful I was able to be there.“

The Medal for Valor is awarded to any member of the New York State Organized Militia who displays a conspicuous act of valor, heroism, courage or gallantry in a military or civilian capacity.

 

 

Related Articles
New York Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Albert Thiem, left, who also served as a sergeant and a lieutenant colonel, receives a retirement gift from Maj. Gen. Thomas Spenser during a ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters in Latham, N.Y., Jan. 26, 2024.
NY Guardsman Ends Career as NCO, Officer and Warrant Officer
By Eric Durr, | Jan. 30, 2024
LATHAM, N.Y. – A New York National Guard Soldier who served as a sergeant, a lieutenant colonel and a chief warrant officer 4 ended his 42-year military career Jan. 26 during a retirement ceremony at New York National Guard...

Staff Sgt. Nathan Wojtkowiak, Tech. Sgt. Kevin Pawlukovich and Staff Sgt. Jacob Qualiana, assigned to the 107th Attack Wing, pause from keeping entrances clear at Erie Community South Campus warming station in Orchard Park, New York, Jan. 15, 2024. Seasonally activated warming stations established around Western New York provide stranded and homeless civilians refuge from extreme winter conditions.
New York National Guard Responds to Winter Storm in Western New York
By 1st Lt. Jason Carr, | Jan. 22, 2024
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The New York National Guard activated 132 Soldiers and Airmen to help local officials deal with a winter storm that hit Buffalo the weekend of Jan. 13-15.The storm dumped 17 inches of snow on the region, with...

New York National Guard honor guard Soldiers receive the remains of 1st Lt. John Thomas, a World War II Army Air Forces pilot killed in 1943, at the Rose Cemetery in North Rose, New York,  May 20, 2023. This was one of 7,100 military funerals the New York Army National Guard's honor guard teams expected to conduct by the end of 2023.
New York National Guard Conducts Over 9,000 Military Funerals
By Eric Durr, | Dec. 26, 2023
LATHAM, New York - New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen expect to provide military funeral honors for the families of over 9,000 veterans by the end of 2023.Federal law requires the military to provide honors at the...