LAS VEGAS – Three Nevada Guard Soldiers from 1st Squadron 221 Cavalry were recognized for helping a Virginia woman injured in a car crash while supporting the presidential inauguration in the nation's capital.
Capts. Tana Gurule and Tyler Wistisen and 1st Lt. Michael Flury witnessed a vehicle crash into a cement wall in the Washington suburb of Fairfax County, Virginia, Jan. 18.
Gurule, who happens to be a Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer, got out of her vehicle, pulled the shattered windshield off the woman’s car, and began to render first aid. She found a pulse and opened the woman’s airway, while Wistisen and Flury provided assistance and summoned medical personnel.
“She looked deceased, but gulped a huge gasp of air when her airway was opened,” Gurule said. “She was alive, thank God.”
The woman sustained two broken ankles and a broken femur, but shortly after being admitted was no longer in critical condition, according to hospital officials.
Gurule, Wistisen and Flury were three out of 250 Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who were called up to support the inauguration. They were among about 25,000 Guardsmen who provided extra law enforcement and security after the riot at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.
On May 14, the 221 Cavalry and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) held a ceremony to honor the three Soldiers for their heroic actions. Land Component Commander Col. Troy Armstrong congratulated the troops and handed out the LCC’s coin of excellence.
“These warriors were capable, ready and responded immediately to that event,” Armstrong said. “Because of their efforts, they helped save the life of the driver of that vehicle. I want to thank you for everything you have done and continue to do. I’ll say it again, leadership matters. This fine organization is full of great leaders and you all make a difference every day.”
Two representatives from the VFW, Don Pettyjohn (Post 12093) and Walt Dvback (Post 12119), presented the VFW Life Saving Award to Gurule, Wistisen and Flury as the entire Squadron looked on and congratulated the Soldiers. Since Gurule rendered lifesaving first aid to the victim, she received the award with valor.
“The victim’s mother called each one of us about how she was doing after the accident,” Gurule said. “I’m glad we were there to help render aid and get the ambulance on scene quickly. It meant a lot to us knowing she was OK and recovered from the crash.”