AFSOC Air Commando rescues woman

One person with green background.

Senior Airman Gregory Ward Jr., Air Force Special Operations Command A6 mission operations controller, distinguished himself on the night of May 19, 2017 by providing life-saving assistance to a Louisiana woman after she fell two stories in a Mississippi parking garage. Ward stayed with her as she received medical treatment that night and followed up with her afterward. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

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Senior Airman Gregory Ward Jr. (far left), Air Force Special Operations Command A6 mission operations controller, rendered life-saving assistance to a Louisiana woman on the night of May 19, 2017. Ward commented that his family was his inspiration for acting to save the woman’s life. He said he would want someone to assist if one of his loved ones were injured. (Courtesy photo)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- One woman’s life will forever be changed because of the quick actions of a brave Air Commando.

On the night of May 19, 2017, Louisiana resident, Belinda Devore, suffered injuries from a two-story fall in a parking garage in Mississippi. Senior Airman Gregory Ward Jr., Air Force Special Operations Command A6 mission operations controller, said he reacted as soon as he witnessed the fall.

“I watched Ms. Devore fall through an opening in the center of the parking garage and land between parked vehicles,” said Ward. “When she fell, I just abruptly reacted. I immediately ran through the parking garage to get to her level and location while searching for security, medical personnel or any form of assistance.”

Devore recounted the moments of that night.

“I was knocked unconscious upon impact, and Gregg immediately sprang into action to save my life,” said Devore. “He ran down to me, flagged down security, dialed 911, and rode in the ambulance with me to the hospital. He stayed by my side as much as allowed at the local hospital as I drifted in and out of consciousness.”

In addition to notifying emergency responders of her situation, Ward assisted Devore with contacting her family.

“Gregg assisted the hospital staff with efforts to notify my daughter, found out where I was being transferred, and walked back to his car a mile away,” said Devore. “He then proceeded to drive from the hospital in Biloxi to the University Medical Center in New Orleans to make sure that I would not be alone upon arrival there, sitting in the waiting area for hours, providing comfort to my two teenage children when they got to the hospital, accompanying them and sitting in my ICU room when it was permitted.”

Devore ultimately suffered multiple pelvic fractures, neck and back fractures, and broken ribs that had scratched and punctured her lung and liver.

When asked why he stayed with her, Ward simply commented that if this situation happened to any of his loved ones, he would want someone else to do the same.

“After she was reunited with her children and was expecting recovery, I felt slightly relieved,” said Ward. “I couldn’t feel fully relieved until she was fully recovered. I am thankful I was able to help out.”

Devore commented that Ward has continued to be helpful to her throughout her recovery process.

“Gregg has also been tremendously positive and supportive of me mentally and emotionally during this long road to recovery,” said Devore. “I am thankful beyond words to say that I am now walking once again and expected to make a complete recovery. There is zero doubt in my mind as to the fact he saved my life.”

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