1st SFG (A) Soldiers Save a Korean Farmer’s Life

by Maj. Alexandra Weiskopf, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Stripes Okinawa

Republic of Korea – Soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Republic of Korea Special Forces responded to a farming accident while conducting partnered training in the Republic of Korea on April 25, saving the civilian’s life.

Together, the U.S. and Republic of Korea Special Forces Soldiers responded to an injured and unconscious, elderly Korean farmer who fell from his tractor and lacerated his right knee. The tractor subsequently caught fire and burned the farmer's airway. Local civilians flagged down the Soldiers who stabilized the patient and extinguished the tractor fire, then transferred the patient to emergency medical services.

"There's a Korean man who is alive today because of the efforts of U.S. Special Forces and Republic of Korea special operations troops who were training nearby. We are exceptionally proud of their effort as well as the training and expertise they possess that allowed them to stabilized an injured civilian, extinguish a vehicle fire, and transfer the patient to local emergency medical services personnel,” said Lt. Col. Matt Gomlak, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) Soldiers involved in the event. “This incident is indicative of the broader strength of the ROK-U.S. alliance and the things that we can accomplish together as one team."

The farmer in his 50s was injured and unconscious after an accident with his tractor, which turned over and caught fire, in the vicinity of Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province.

A Republic of Korean Special Forces general presented the American Soldiers with citations on behalf of the Republic of Korea Special Warfare Command commanding general.

"It was a great opportunity for the detachments to demonstrate the friendship and inter-operability ‎of ROK and U.S. SOF,” said the Republic of Korea Special Forces battalion commander in charge of the Korean Special Forces soldiers involved in the event. “Further, it demonstrated to the Korean people that we can be trusted as a combined force. It was truly the friendship between our forces that set the conditions for the Soldiers to help the elderly farmer, and leave a positive impression on the local community."

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