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Guardsman Rescues Woman

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Farson
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing
A local Guardsman rescued a young woman attempting to escape from a group of intoxicated men here in April.

Senior Airman Brendon Sheiry from the 117th Air Refueling Wing confronted the men after the woman looked at Sheiry straight in the eye and said, "Don't let them take me."

He stood up to the men and said, "There's something wrong here. She doesn't want to go with you." At that point the group of men turned their attention toward Sheiry and released the woman from their control. She was able to run away and get out of sight. The group started yelling and cursing at Sheiry; escalating to an attack soon after. Fists continually pounded his face. When one person stopped throwing punches another stepped in and continued the assault. He was knocked down twice and each time he got up the attack continued. After being knocked down a third time someone kicked him in the head and the group dispersed.

It was an easy decision for Sheiry as he stated, "I felt a sense of responsibility once she crossed my path."

Unaware of the seriousness of his injuries Sheiry reported to the Air National Guard base for duty the following day. His supervisor, Senior Master Sgt. Jeffery McCay, insisted that Sheiry go to the emergency room.

"Senior Master Sgt. McCay stayed with me the whole day. He was up early in the morning and stayed with me until I went to sleep around 8 p.m. or so and made sure I was all right. I have so much respect for him as a supervisor," says Sheiry.

Sheiry suffered a fractured thumb and a contusion underneath the skull during the attack.

"He made a snap decision he knew would cost him dearly in terms of his safety," said Col. Scott Grant, Commander of the 117th Maintenance Group. "He stepped out and did it right and decided not to be a bystander."

Sheiry knew the potential consequences of what could have happened to the woman because of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training. Alcohol influence apparent in the group of men, the type of pressure applied and stress of the woman were factors Sheiry accounted for in evaluating the situation and decision to act.

When asked if he would have done anything different Sheiry answered, "No, I had a moral obligation to say something because who knows what would have happened if I didn't step in."