Three Army Sergeants Get Awarded for Saving Suicidal Soldier

Three soldiers were honored at Fort Hood in Texas, on Thursday after they helped save the life of a fellow service member who attempted to commit suicide in June.

U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Nicholas Ketch, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Stephen Gulczynski and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Corey Clark received the "Life Saving Award" from the Bell County Sheriff's Department for their actions, the Army announced on Thursday.

On June 19, the Bell County Sheriff's Office in Texas got a call about a service member who was threatening to take his life.

"As deputies arrived on scene, they were joined by members of the victim's unit, Ketch, Gulczynski and Clark, all who immediately began working together to coach their teammate off of a ledge and back to safety," the Army wrote in its announcement.

According to the Army Times, deputies received a call about the suicidal service member because he had told a non-commissioned officer that he was going to Chalk Ridge Falls in Bell County, Texas and that he was going to jump.

News station KXXV reported that as the soldier was attempting to jump from a bridge, he got on the phone with Gulczynski.

"I got the call," Gulczynski said according to the news station.

"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," he added.

Gulczynski, Clark and Ketch—who all knew the soldier— eventually all arrived on the scene. The Army Times reported they tried to talk the soldier down, and that Clark, Gulczynski and a sheriff's deputy worked to pull the service member back from the railing, and put him in restraints.

Sergeants Awarded for Saving Suicidal Soldier
Three soldiers were honored at Fort Hood in Texas, on Thursday after they helped save the life of a fellow service member who attempted to commit suicide in June. Family members and invited guests of wounded Fort Hood soldiers enter the III Corps parade grounds prior to the arrival of President barack Obama to a memorial ceremony at Fort Hood in April 2014. Corbis Historical

"It is my opinion that the individuals involved in this incident demonstrated an unmatched amount of empathy and concern for their fellow soldier in crisis," said Bell County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Christopher M. Wilcox.

"Their efforts and quick actions contributed to the successful outcome of the incident and help avert a tragic situation."

In recent years, the U.S. military has seen an increase in suicide rates. Military suicides rose by 15 percent last year. Suicides committed by Army National Guard troops increased by 35 percent, among Army service members there was nearly a 20 percent increase.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours every day.