Soldier’s Medal Recipient – SSgt Nicholas Davis Saved Couple From Fiery Crash
Acts of valor are not confined to the battlefield. The Soldiers Medal is given to service members who do such acts apart from war. SSgt Nicholas Davis rescued a couple trapped in a fiery crash on June 9, 2017, and was awarded the Soldier’s Medal on January 22, 2018.
“Heroism is endurance for one moment more.” George F. Kennan
June 9, 2017
SSgt Davis was on his way to Georgia when he saw an overturned vehicle. He noticed that no one was paying any attention as they whizzed by, so he pulled over to assess the situation. He noted there was a small engine fire beneath the vehicle so he jumped out of his car and ran to see if people were inside. He was right. Rick and Sharon Steiert were both trapped and soaked with gasoline from a container that had flipped into the front seat.
Davis immediately got to work and pulled Rick from the inverted vehicle first, and then began working to save Sharon, who was still trapped inside by her seatbelt.
“As I was [unbuckling her seatbelt] the whole vehicle caught fire, and I just felt a blanket of fire wrap around my body, and everything just happened in a matter of seconds from there,” Davis explained. “But before I could get the other half of her body out, she caught fire from all the fuel that was on her. I noticed she was on fire [shortly] before noticing that I was on fire, too.”
Davis worked quickly to free Sharon from the burning vehicle, then committed his efforts to extinguishing the flames that were still burning their legs.
After emergency personnel transported everyone to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Davis was diagnosed with severe second-degree burns on more than 75 percent of his lower leg. Sharon’s burns were more severe, and Rick also sustained injuries.
“They [doctors] said five seconds longer and I would have been halfway through a third-degree burn and almost into the fourth degree,” Davis said. “It was a very painful recovery, but nothing compared to what Sharon had to deal with; so I don’t complain about it.”
This is the stuff of which our military should be made. At risk of his own life, he continued on…’endurance for one moment more’ to save the life of a stranger.
“I did it because that was somebody’s life, and that somebody’s life means something to someone. I couldn’t imagine if I was in their situation and no one came to help me.” SSgt Davis
After his long recovery, on January 22, 2018 SSgt Davis received the Soldier’s Medal for his heroism.
Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commanding general, pins the Soldier’s Medal on Staff Sgt. Nicholas Davis, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) artillery cannon crew member and section chief, during a ceremony held at Fort Campbell, Jan. 22, 2018. Davis, an Ellijay, Georgia, native and seven-year combat veteran with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, received the award for heroism and his lifesaving actions when he rescued a couple from a burning vehicle, June 9, 2017. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Stoffregen)