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Cripple Creek motorcycle ride: Soldiers aid community members

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MARCOA Media
Story by SSG Neysa Canfield on 09/17/2019
FORT CARSON, Colo. As the 27th Annual Salute to American Veterans Rally and 32nd Annual Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Ride at Cripple Creek came to an end Aug. 17, 2019, two "Ivy" Division Soldiers began setting up static display vehicles when they heard a commotion coming from a crowd of people near their display.

"A biker that was participating in the parade stalled out and couldn't control his bike and he ended up crashing into some parked bikes and into the crowd," said Sgt. Alejandro Vasquez, a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer with Bravo Company, 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Vasquez and Spc. Jessie Tatum, an allied trade specialist with B Company, 704th BSB, quickly reacted to the situation.

"I grabbed the CLS (combat lifesaver) bag from the vehicle and Sgt. Vasquez and I ran over to help provide some first aid to people who were injured," said Tatum. "I was a little scared while everything was happening; it was my first time seeing and dealing with injuries that could potentially be fatal."

As more medical personnel arrived at the site, Vasquez said he and Tatum backed away to let them take over the situation and evacuate the injured people.

"Seeing them taken away to a medical facility gave me a sense of ease because I knew they would be taken care of," added Vasquez. "We helped the paramedics the best we could, and I believe that even the smallest amount of help in situations like that one can be the difference between life and death."

After everything was over, Tatum said he felt a sense of pride of what he had done that day.

"Not to be cheesy, but it's in our creed to serve the people of the United States, it's one of those things that comes with being a Soldier," he said. "I think it's essential to help grow a better image for the Army and also grow a better image of ourselves as individuals."

Seeing Vasquez and Tatum live the Army values on a daily basis makes Capt. Dallas Apotheker, company commander, Bravo Company, 704th BSB, 2nd IBCT, proud to be a commander, he said.

"I was standing right there when everything happened," said Apotheker. "I was impressed with their reaction time and their intestinal fortitude to go toward a challenging situation."

As Fort Carson Soldiers and members of the surrounding communities, Apotheker said it's important that Soldiers act as members of the community.

"I think situations like that one reinforces to our community members that our Soldiers aren't afraid to do the right thing and that we are here willing to help," he said.

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