HometownBell County


'I got the call': Life Saving Award granted to Fort Hood soldiers, sergeant for saving another soldier's life

Posted at 7:42 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 10:27:09-04

Soldiers from Fort Hood were honored by the Bell County Sheriff's Department for helping them save one of their "brothers in uniform.".

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department went to Fort Hood to honor three soldiers, and a sergeant with the sheriff’s department, with the department's Life Saving Award. Their work stopped a soldier from ending his own life.

The soldier was attempting to jump from a bridge at Stillhouse Lake when he got on the phone with an NCO who was racing out to the bridge.

"I got the call," said SSG Stephen Gulczynski, Staff Sergeant, U.S Army. "He called me first and I kept him on the phone the whole time, trying to talk him down. Just telling him to remember his family, remember his kids. Just don’t do it. I was begging him on the phone, just please stop, don’t do this.”

Though the Sheriff’s Sergeant was trying to get the soldier off the ledge, he said they were getting nowhere until his "brothers in uniform" showed up.

"When the other three NCO’s showed up, their background and their friendship with him helped to establish a rapport with that. I don’t think I could have ever established in the time frame that I had,” said Christopher Wilcox, a sergeant with Bell County Sheriff’s Department.

A rapport which eventually led to one of the NCO’s pulling the soldier back from the ledge and saving his life.

"They’re the true heroes. Not just in serving our country but in serving their fellow soldiers in the way they did that night,” said Sgt. Wilcox.

Rescuing that soldier from the brink of suicide is why they were given the Life Saving Award from the sheriff's department, an honor they are truly humbled to receive.

"I am definitely honored and grateful. Thank you for the award but like I always say, you don’t have to thank me for doing my job all the time, but I am honored,” said SFC Nicholas Ketch, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army.

After seeing their fellow soldier in pain and willing to take his own life, they have a message for their brothers and sisters that feel the need to end their life.

"Talk, there’s always someone to talk to," said SFC Ketch. "Army [or] civilian, there's multiple agencies out there. You have to talk to someone."

Thousands of active duty, reserve, and veterans die by suicide every year.