Guts+skills+a cool, confident head=GLORY.
Sgt. Trey Troney was making his way home to Raleigh, Mississippi, from Fort Bliss, Texas, for a holiday break when he happened upon a crashed truck on the side of the highway in Sweetwater, according to a Wednesday release from the Army.
He found Jeff Udger slumped over the steering wheel, so with two other men who had also stopped to help, he pried the driver’s door open. Then the 20-year-old noncommissioned officer got to work.
“I was in a pair of jogging pants and a T-shirt on the side of a highway, and somebody’s life depended on me slightly knowing a little bit [about emergency medical care],” Troney said in the release. “It wasn’t anything crazy [that I knew], but to [Udger], it was his world.”
First things first, he pulled off his own “Salute to Service” New Orleans Saints hooded sweatshirt and wrapped it around Udger’s head, to stanch a bleeding wound.
Then Troney realized that Udger’s left lung had collapsed. Back in his Jeep, he had some first aid supplies left over from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division’s recent rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
But the chest decompression needle in his kit wasn’t long enough to reach Uger’s lung and give it a chance to refill with air. But he did have a ballpoint pen on hand, so he pulled off the ends and dumped out the ink tube.
“I took the [needle] and put it right in the hole and kind of wiggled [the pen] in with my hand in between the ribs, and you just started to see the bubbles come out of the tip, and I was like, ‘OK, we’re good,’” Troney said.
Just then, a state trooper arriving on the scene asked Troney if he’d just done what he thought he’d done.
“I was like, ‘I did,’” Troney said. “And [the state trooper] was like, ‘He’s on no pain meds,’ and I said, ‘Oh, he felt it, but he’s unconscious. He lost consciousness as I was running back to my Jeep because he had lost a lot of blood.’”
After paramedics showed up, the trooper got Troney something to eat at a truck stop nearby. The paramedics said he’d saved Udger’s life, but Troney was concerned he might be sued if the move with the pen had harmed Udger.
Quite the opposite happened, according to the release. Udger sought out government officials, media outlets and Troney’s chain of command to get the word out about the soldier who saved him on the side of Interstate 22.
Happy endings all around, then. Bless this fine young man; he’s a credit to his unit, his training, his Army, and his country, enough so as to give even a crusty, near-terminally cynical old fart like me a fleeting glimmer of hope. Aesop says:
This is the sort of thing for which the Army routinely awards the Soldier’s Medal.
“Awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguishes himself by heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.”
There shouldn’t be anyone in Troney’s chain of command who should be anything less than proud to add their name to an endorsement for that award.
Amen to that, with big fat bells on. Somebody ought to get word to President Trump; I’m quite sure he’d be honored to receive Troney for a White House meet and greet, although from the sound of things that might be a little taxing on the kid’s becoming modesty. In any event: well done, Sergeant. Well done indeed.