Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Henry W. Marris III
3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
COLORADO SPRINGS — Five Fort Carson Soldiers were recognized with the Citizen Award of Appreciation for aid to police officers or other citizens during a crime, at the Colorado Springs Police Department annual awards ceremony Jan. 7 at the Stargazers Theater and Event Center.
The annual event is held to recognize the actions and contributions of citizens and department personnel who help save lives and fight crime in the community.
“It’s an honor for me to have even been considered for this award,” said Spc. Anthony Willis, air traffic controller, Company F, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. “For the police department to think my actions were worth it is just awesome.”
Willis, along with fellow awardees Spc. Ian Carman, air traffic controller, Company F, 2nd GSAB, 4th CAB, and Spc. Daniel Garcia, petroleum supply specialist, Company A, 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., were the first people to respond to a shooting incident in which two civilians were severely injured.
The three Soldiers were nominated for the award by Lt. Adrian Vasquez, a detective with the CSPD violent crimes section, said they played a large role in the survival of the two victims.
“In the midst of a shooting, you have these Soldiers coming forward and taking the victims’ lives in their hands,” Vasquez said. “I think that’s pretty heroic, and that is why I wanted to nominate these guys.”
Staff Sgt. James Palmieri, shop foreman, Company E, 1st Battalion,
4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th CAB, and 1st Lt. Jamie Mueller, physician assistant, Medical Department Activity, were also recognized for their actions after witnessing a two-car accident and rescuing an elderly man trapped in his vehicle prior to it exploding.
Palmieri said he didn’t expect anything to come of his actions that day.
“I didn’t feel I deserved the award because I feel that as a Soldier, that is what we do — we react and we help,” Palmieri said.
“Regardless, I am very grateful for the recognition the CSPD gave us, and I am proud of all the Soldiers who were given awards.”