Fort Bragg soldiers receive medal for trying to save woman

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Fort Bragg soldiers' medal ceremony (WTVD)

Two Fort Bragg soldiers - one a military police officer, the other a Black-Hawk helicopter mechanic- were honored Friday for risking their lives to try and save a woman trapped in a burning car.

Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey Gassaway and Spec. Benjamin Rogers were given the Soldier's Medal - it is the Army's highest award for valor in a non-combat situation.

In October 2014, the two soldiers rushed to help a woman trapped in a wrecked car that was on fire.

The two were not able to free the victim from the wreckage but did keep flames from her until rescue crews arrived. The woman later died.

Her family was at Friday's ceremony but declined to talk.

In pinning the medal on the two soldiers, the 82nd Commanding General said Master Sgt. Gassaway and Spec. Rogers represented the honor and bravery of American troops.
The two soldiers said during those first frantic moments at the wreck, their only thoughts were helping the pinned in driver.

"We reacted, Spec Rogers and I," Gassaway said. "We never met before, we reacted as soldiers the biggest thing was if we did not react who would. We wanted to get the flames under control, wanted to get her out of the vehicle, give her a fighting chance. We did not know how many people were in the vehicle."

Spec. Rogers' 13-year-old son Isaac and Master Sgt. Gassaway's wife were also honored for helping give aid to the pinned-in driver.

The two soldiers and their families say they don't want to be called heroes, just people who tried to help someone in need.

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