KILLEEN, Texas – Three 12th Calvary regiment Fort Hood soldiers were honored Thursday for their heroic actions to stop a fellow soldier who attempted to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge.
Staff Sergeant Corey Allen Clark, Jr., Sergeant First Class Nicholas Ketch, and Staff Sergeant Stephen Gulczynski each received the Army Achievement Medal from their Battalion, and the Life Saving Award from the Bell County Sheriff’s Office.
A ceremony was held at the Howze Auditorium Theatre in their honor to highlight their heroic actions, along with Bell County Sheriff Christopher Wilcox, for helping save the life of a soldier sitting on the edge of a bridge contemplating jumping off.
The soldiers talked the man into moving in closer until they could grab him, and pull him away from the ledge.
“When the other three NCO’s showed up their background, and their friendship with him helped to establish a rapport that I don’t think I could have ever established in the timeframe that I had,” Wilcox says.
Allen says he has suicide awareness training, but he never thought he would have to use it.
“Being recognized, that’s cool and all, but at the end of the day he is alive, and that’s all that matters to me,” Allen said.
Allen says they were just at a barbecue about an hour prior to the incident, and he had no idea his friend was suicidal.
“While he was on the edge, I told him, ‘Think of his kids and his family’ and pretty much begging him not to do it,” Gulczynski said.
Ketch is the one who dialed 9-1-1 after receiving a call from the soldiers concerned wife out of town.
Ketch immediately rushed to the location with the help of Bell County deputies.
“I’m honored that it was successful, rather than this be a memorial service. That right there makes me feel happy. I am like, ‘Job well done. I’m accomplished,'” Ketch said. “Retirement’s around the corner for me, and I think this is a good way for me to end my career.”