Tennessee National Guard Awards Ribbon of Valor to Four for Assisting in Car Crash

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ATHENS, TN (WRCB) –
The Tennessee National Guard is honoring four of its own for their role in assisting in a car crash.

They received the Adjutant General’s Ribbon for Valor at the National Guard armory in Athens.

In 2016 soldiers of the National Guard helped to save several people who were injured in an accident on the interstate. Nearly a later, they were honored for their bravery.

Four Tennessee National Guards members were traveling to Tullahoma when they witnessed a crash on I-24.

Without hesitation they jumped into action.

They directed traffic, kept the injured victims calm, and even assisted emergency responders with the rescue.

“It was pretty bad it was a semi it hit a smaller passenger vehicle it looked to be a Nissan,” said Sargent Matthew Long. “It was pretty unrecognizable.”

Sergeant Matthew Long was one of the four who helped.

He’s now the recipient of an Adjutant General’s Ribbon for Valor.

This award is for members of the National Guard who distinguish themselves in an act of saving or attempting to save another person’s life.

“It’s always a good feeling to be rewarded,” said Sargent Matthew Long. “When you first hear about it it’s like what. I’m getting what? Then you get nervous a little but then from there it carries into excitement. At the same time you feel prideful because this is something not everybody else gets.”

Long says he was just doing what he was trained to do and receiving this honor was unexpected.

The award was presented by Major General Max Haston, a 2 star general.

“Actually shake his hand, talk to him it’s kind of humbling,” said Sargent Matthew Long. “Oh wow somebody who’s well above my pay grade taking the time to make the trip to give this to me so it’s pretty important.”

Sargent Chris Gaylon, Specialist Charles Woods and Specialist Nakita Huffman also received the Ribbon of Valor