Face of Defense: U.S. Soldier aids injured South Korean civilian
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea, Aug. 12, 2015 – Army Cpl. Tristan L. Booth helped to rescue an injured South Korean citizen who’d fallen onto the railroad tracks at a train station in the nearby city of Pyeongtaek.
Booth, a native of Maple Valley, Washington, and the senior cable system installer/maintainer from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, was at the AK Plaza with his then-fiancé, Juran Hyun, during the May 3 incident.
The weekend was coming to a close, with Booth saying goodbye to Hyun as she headed back to Seoul on the subway. The couple was sitting on a bench when Booth overheard a Korean civilian making strange noises.
Then, Booth heard a loud bang, “and saw everyone moving to the edge of the platform and looking down toward the tracks.”
He added, “Once we got to the crowd, I could see a man lying face up on top of the track.”
Booth jumped down along with a civilian to try and help the man who had fallen. It took them two or three attempts to lift the heavy man to the top of the platform before they could get themselves out of harm’s way.
“I didn’t know if a train was going to come or not,” Booth said. “I am still in shock that I jumped down there.”
Once they were safe on top of the platform, Booth noticed a severe laceration on the man’s head. Booth remembered he had a t-shirt inside of his backpack and rushed to retrieve it. He began applying pressure to the wound and started to make sure the man was not going into shock.
“My basic knowledge of combat lifesaver first aid helped me remember what to do instantly,” Booth said. “My deployment to Afghanistan gave me experiences with situations where I need to react quickly which really helped me.”
Booth stayed with the injured man until paramedics arrived on the scene. Many Korean civilians thanked Booth for helping to save the man.
Army Master Sgt. Bryan Vann, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 2nd CAB communications section, is one of Booth’s mentors in the Army.
“He is a person with high character who wants to constantly be a better person and soldier,” Vann said of Booth. “He likes to take care of other people and I’m not surprised he did this.”
Booth received the Army Commendation Medal Aug. 5 for his efforts to assist the injured man.
“We wanted to make sure we did our due diligence and recognize him for this wonderful deed he performed,” Vann said. “Most people don’t want to go out of their way to help someone, but he went out of his way because he is selfless.”