BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. – Gov. Bill Lee presented the Soldier’s Medal to Tennessee National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Shields July 10 at the Wyatt Duke Armory.
Shields, a 24-year veteran of the Tennessee Army National Guard, acted heroically when shots were fired in a parking lot following a high school football game on Oct. 8, 2018. A fight had broken out after the game and a teenager opened fire, striking two people.
Shields, a member of Detachment 1, 1175th Transportation Company, disarmed and restrained the shooter until law enforcement arrived.
“I just grabbed his hand and fell to the ground with him,” said Shields. “I didn’t want anybody to take the gun, so I held him there until police arrived.”
The Soldier’s Medal is awarded to any person of the armed forces who distinguishes themselves by heroism not involving conflict with an enemy while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army. The decoration was established in 1926 to recognize acts of bravery during peacetime.
“Sgt. 1st Class Shields’ actions are a validation of not only his training but a validation of his character,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s adjutant general. “He exhibited the courage that every Soldier is trained to exhibit and aspires to achieve. He fully encompasses all of the Army and is such a positive example to all of us. He acted with great instincts and his impressive act of courage and bravery saved countless lives that day. We are truly proud of him and his selfless service.”
Lee, Holmes, and other distinguished guests attended the ceremony, one that Shields said he won’t soon forget.
“I just did what I thought anybody else would’ve done in my situation,” said Shields. “But for the governor and adjutant general and everyone to be here, it’s truly humbling, and I’m thankful for everyone here today.”