MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (March 15, 2012) --
Driving down U.S. Highway 70 on a Friday evening in April 2011, four Sailors came up on the aftermath of a two-car collision.
The Sailors, training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to become hospital corpsmen at the time, were put to the test.
“We were driving down the road when all of the cars in front of us started breaking rapidly,” said Brett R. Hodgson, one of the Sailors, now a hospital corpsman at Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point. “All we could see ahead was smoke coming from the cars.”
In the dim evening light they stopped their car, got out and ran toward the two smoking vehicles.
In quickly assessing the severity and damage of the situation, the Sailors realized one of the vehicles held both an injured mother and daughter.
“We took the mom and daughter out of the smoking car,” said Hodgson, a native of Arvada, Colo. “Then we saw a boy about 75 yards away lying on the ground. He was ejected from the car during the crash.”
Kim T. Robinson and her two children, Collin and Carlee, were traveling to Greenville, N.C., to visit with her brother.
Performing life saving steps they learned during schooling, the Sailors assisted the accident victims until paramedics arrived shortly after.
“I was just doing what I was learning at the time,” said Hodgson. “All of us were.”
For his actions nearly a year ago, Hodgson was presented a Navy Achievement Medal, Wednesday, at NHC Cherry Point.
“He helped save all of our lives,” said Kim. “I don’t remember much, just the helicopter and Brett’s face.”
Kim’s husband, Travis, a lieutenant with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, was informed of the accident shortly after, and said he is thankful the Sailors were there for his family.
“These young men saw the situation and instantly responded due to the training they had received,” said Travis. “We are extremely lucky. Brett has become a part of our family and always will be.”
Hodgson’s actions were a reflection of his performance on a daily basis at the clinic, said Master Chief Glenn A. Baxter, the command master chief of NHC Cherry Point.
“Aside from what we do in the clinic and while we are deployed, it is really great that these Sailors can assist in situations like this,” said Baxter. “They are putting their skills to good use not only here, but everywhere. Hodgson is a solid Sailor and does a great job.”
“We are deeply grateful that Brett and his friends happened to be driving down the road that night,” said Travis. “He saved my family.”