LEXINGTON, Mass. – On his evening commute home from work, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Wilkinson, a flight paramedic with Detachment 1, Charlie Company, 3rd of the 126th Aviation, Westfield, was alarmed to see what was happening on the road ahead of him. On that dark, cold night, a young man attempting to cross the busy street was struck by a car and thrown into the center lane.
Wilkinson immediately pulled his car over and jumped into action to assist the young man, running to his aid to protect him from other vehicles and instructing those nearby to call 911 and retrieve blankets. “I did what I was trained to do,” said Wilkinson, who has experienced many high-stress situations. As an infantry Soldier, Wilkinson has completed multiple combat tours overseas. He now works as a paramedic providing care in emergency situations.
“This is what we do. We put others before self and help those that cannot help themselves. I would expect any of my Soldiers to have done the same exact thing. It is a long legacy of the medevac community, and I am very proud to be a part of it,” said Wilkinson. Wilkinson knew the best way to help the victim was to keep him still, calm and warm. They lay together in the middle of the road. Wilkinson helped to keep the patient from going into shock by talking to him and comforting him. As they talked, he got to know the victim, learning his name, how good his memory was and if he could move all of his extremities, all of which was helpful information to assist the medical responders. Within a short time, the State Police, fire department and ambulance arrived to secure the scene and transport the young man to the hospital.
1st Lt. Patrick Foley, Detachment 1, Charlie Company, 3rd of the 126th Aviation, Westfield, has worked with Wilkinson and knows of his commitment to the Army and his values. “He is a true professional Soldier; he lives it day in and day out,” said Foley. “This is just one instance that shows the kind of character he has. He is a great guy, and we’re lucky to have him on the team.” After multiple surgeries, the patient has returned home and is doing well. Wilkinson is glad he was there to help the young man and says that other Soldiers in the National Guard would have done the same.
“As a member of the National Guard community, we are always here. This is what we do,” he said.