‘I can never repay him’: Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier recalled as heroic leader.

Image: United States Air Force Not long before Sgt. Jose…

Image: United States Air Force

Not long before Sgt. Jose Rodriguez lost his life in southern Afghanistan, he saved at least one life among the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers he loved and called brothers.

When his Stryker platoon sergeant and two other soldiers were injured by an explosive in combat last month, Rodriguez used his first-aid training to tend to the wounded.

Sgt. 1st Class Eric Hoover said he was bleeding heavily from his left arm. Even after Rodriguez applied a tourniquet, the flow wouldn’t stop.

When Hoover looked at his arm and discovered a bone protruding, he passed out. He woke to find Rodriguez – or “Rod,” as his friends call him – applying a second tourniquet.

Rodriguez stayed with all three men until a helicopter arrived to take them to safety.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Sgt. Rodriguez,” Hoover said at a memorial service Wednesday at Lewis-McChord. “I can never repay him for what he’s done.”

Read the rest of Adam Ashton’s article at The News Tribune.

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