Battle tested EMT is nominated as Red Cross Hero - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/5/10

Battle tested EMT is nominated as Red Cross Hero

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By Tiffany Pelt | email

This is the first in a series of stories this week honoring local people who are nominated as American Red Cross Heroes.

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Michael Tackitt, 23, was an army medic in Kuwait for almost a year, saving countless lives.

"When you get to make a difference it feels really good," says Tackitt.  "You know there's nothing like it."

But it's one life that he couldn't save that will stick with him forever.  Tickitt's unit rushed to the scene of a roll over; four soldiers were trapped inside a vehicle.

"Normally the fire department, they use the jaws and have all that.  We had a sledge hammer and a couple of screw drivers and we pretty much pried smashed and got our way in."

"I knew her from before the wreck." Tackitt says in reference to Army Specialist Walters.  He says she "was the worst off and we sent her with the Kuwaiti EMTs to a local hospital that was closer."

After saving the other three soldiers, Tackitt and his unit searched for Walters all night.

"We found her in the morgue a couple blocks down from where the hospital was."

"When we found her they had stripped ...  her naked and taken everything off of her. Her uniform, boots, everything was gone and she was just left sitting out alone which when a soldier dies over there you never leave the body alone."

"There's always someone with them its just a matter of respect and we stayed with her all night until her unit commanders were able to come out and mortuary affairs the next morning."

"She was19," Tackitt says as he fights back tears.  "I'd rather get shot at and mortared all day than have to deal with that again."

The other three were out of the hospital in a week.  Although Tackitt has saved many lives, he says he's not the hero.

"The main thing I want to come out of this is people not to forget soldiers that have passed over there. Specialist Walters and thousands and thousands of others you know they're the real heroes."

Tackitt is now a Lubbock EMT, saving lives here at home.  He has also re-enlisted for another 3-years and could be going back overseas.

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