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Soldiers receive Romanian award for aiding victims of car crash

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Another example of the exemplary character resident within Civil Affairs formations. These Soldiers are from the 80th Civil Affairs, Battalion, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade.

CINCU, Romania - A pair of Soldiers who ran to the aid of three Romanians injured in a rollover car accident last month were honored for their efforts by Romanian Land Forces leaders April 7 during the opening ceremony of multinational exercise Scorpions Fury 16.1. Sgt. 1st Class Adan L. Barron and Spc. Robert W. McCoy, both of Company D, 80th Civil Affairs Battalion, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade, were presented the Romanian Emblem of Merit "Partner for Defense" (3rd Class) award by Maj. Gen. Dumitru Scarlat, Romanian Land Forces chief of staff, and Brig. Gen. Ovidiu Pop, Romanian 2nd Division deputy commander, during the ceremony at the Romanian Land Forces Combat Training Center here. The Soldiers, who've been in Romania since January as part of 4th Infantry Division Mission Command Element's (MCE) Romanian civil affairs team under Operation Atlantic Resolve, stopped to help the injured men after seeing their car roll several times. The vehicle came to rest on its roof on Highway A2 between Bucharest and MK Air Base on March 3, with one of the passengers ejected from the car as it rolled. "Their decision to pull over and assist the victims of the accident contributed to saving their lives until professional help could arrive," said Pop, prior to issuing the award to Barron and McCoy in front of hundreds of Romanian, Canadian and U.S. troops who are participating in Scorpions Fury 16.1 at the "Getica" training center. "Some might say they just did their job, but both as Soldiers as well as citizens, let me tell you that they are a role model for each and every one of us. They have not only saved the lives of those involved in the accident but also assured the hearts and minds of all the witnesses of the event," Pop said. The Emblem of Merit (3rd Class) is equivalent to the Army Commendation Medal.

For McCoy, the civil affairs team medic who only graduated from Army paramedic school in October prior to his initial deployment, the award ceremony was another first. "This is a really big honor to me, it's the first award I've gotten in the military, so it's an amazing thing for me to get this while I'm here," said McCoy, of Saginaw, Michigan. At the accident scene, McCoy ran to help the man who had been ejected from the vehicle and, with Barron's help, stabilized the victim's breathing while also treating facial lacerations. He then treated the other two victims still in the car until Romanian paramedics arrived 5 minutes later. McCoy said he never expected to be recognized for helping people in need but was grateful for the honor. "It's kind of funny, I'm just doing my job. It's nice to be awarded sometimes but not necessary - I take great pride in what I do." Barron, the MCE's Romanian civil affairs team sergeant who hails from El Paso, Texas, said he speaks some Romanian. This helped the Soldiers communicate with locals who also came to assist at the accident scene. Barron said he too was honored to receive the Emblem of Merit. "I'm speechless, there's no words to express how I feel except to say thank you to the Romanians for acknowledging us and recognizing us in this manner," he said. "We've been able to work with our Romanian partners to strengthen relationships as part of Atlantic Resolve. Being able to help a few citizens in need just solidified our efforts as an ally to Romania. It's a good feeling to be able to help others," Barron said.

Originally posted by Capt. Scott Walters:


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