FORT BLISS, Texas — The combat medic is considered to be the backbone of Army medicine. Soldiers holding the combat medic military occupation specialty, known as 86W, are the first responders to treat service members in combat. Units often give their medics the nickname "doc" to signify the importance of their role in treating the wounded.
For Spc. Maximilian Raway, a combat medic assigned to the medical platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, the duty extends to beyond treating fellow Soldiers.
Last week in the late evening, Spc. Raway and Sgt. Brittany Lockhart, a radiology specialist with 47th Brigade Support Battalion, 2ABCT, 1AD, were traveling on the east side of El Paso when they spotted a single vehicle accident on the side of the road. Raway and Lockhart were the first to respond and immediately pulled over to provide assistance.
“We saw a bunch of shattered glass scattered all over the road and on the sidewalk was a crumpled car,” said Raway. Their medic training was immediately activated as both Soldiers began to assess the situation.
“We pulled off to the side of the road and the first thing we did was called 911 then approached the vehicle,” he said. “We were really calm, almost on auto-pilot. Our training prepared us for this and kicked in,” added Lockhart.
Both Solders could smell gas fumes in the air and could hear screams coming from the car as they walked up to it.
The car door was able to open on the passenger side, allowing them to get to the passengers inside and provide aid until emergency services arrived about 10 minutes later.
“There were 2 passengers but unfortunately, the driver appeared to be deceased,” said Raway. “We got the young girl out the backseat, but the young boy, it appeared that he needed a c-spine precaution to be removed safely from the car so I just tried my best to keep him occupied until EMS got there.”
Raway, 24, a native of San Jose, California, received recognition for his actions from the Brigade Commander on Fort Bliss, June 24, 2021.
“What we hope our Soldiers will do is just what they did,” remarked Col. Michael P. Wagner, the 2ABCT commander. “Spc. Raway might say he didn’t do anything special, but he saw something that needed doing and did it. That’s what makes it special, you [Raway] took initiative. There are stories throughout our Army where a young Soldier sees an enemy advance and steps up to stop it to save his squad mates. We read stories about that kind of bravery and we wonder if we could do that. The reality is that they are Soldiers like Spc. Raway.”
Spc. Raway joined the Army in 2018 and when asked why he choose to serve his answer was simple and to the point. “I choose to serve because I really wanted to be a medic in the Army,” he said. “I’m thankful I got the opportunity to do that”
Sgt. Lockhart, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, was on leave during the initial recognition and will be recognized at a later date.
The El Paso police department plans to recognize these two Soldiers for their heroic efforts at a later date.