Ft. Wood Soldier to Receive Red Cross Award

Southern Missouri- Ft. Wood Soldier to Receive Red Cross Award
Sgt. Diaz made a split-second decision that saved the life of a fellow soldier.

Staff Sgt. Isaac Diaz is one of nine people who will receive a 2014 American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter Lifesaver Award.

Diaz, who is stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, is the Military Lifesaver Award recipient.

“Sgt. Diaz made a split-second decision that saved the life of a fellow soldier,” said chapter Executive Director Dave Griffith. “He put himself in harm’s way, but thankfully no one was injured.”

Diaz and the other Lifesaver Award recipients will be honored at the Lifesaver Award event, which begins at 5 p.m. June 24 at the Capital West Event Center, 1315 Fairgrounds Rd., in Jefferson City.

The event features entertainment, a silent auction, a barbecue dinner and the award ceremony. Tickets, $20 for adults and $5 for children under 10, are available at the chapter website – www.redcross.org/hom.

Diaz, assigned to the Combat Training Company, 43rd Adjutant General Battalion, reacted quickly when a soldier froze after dropping a live grenade during a training session on Nov. 12, 2013, at the fort.

The sergeant grabbed the soldier and took him out of the training bay and jumped on top of him to protect him from the blast. Diaz had to react in an instant. There are about three to five seconds after the pin is pulled until the grenade explodes. The blast blew out the concrete slab wall in the bay. Diaz said the soldier was shocked and stunned, but neither he nor anyone else was injured. Training is a mandatory requirement and continued with the soldier and the rest of the group.

Diaz received the Soldier’s Medal for his actions.

Other Lifesaver Award recipients include: Columbia Fire Department Lt. Bruce Britt,(posthumously), Firefighter; Kara Wehmeyer, Holts Summit, Blood Services; Dezaree Curtis, Jamestown, Youth; Jefferson City Police Officers Brad King and Jason Sederwall, Law Enforcement; Denise Evans, St. James, Good Samaritan; and Tracy Frank, Holts Summit, and Trish Adamson, Jefferson City, Medical. Tom Shands, Jamestown, is the chapter’s Volunteer of the Year.