Soldier receives Distinguished Service Medal for actions

By David Altom, KYNG Public Affairs

Col. Charlie Jones presents Sgt. Christopher Pesut with the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal. Pesut was recognized for rendering assistance to the injured driver of an overturned tractor trailer last June. (Photo by Freddie Maggard, National Guard Outreach)

Frankfort, Ky. (November 2, 2010) – The Soldier ideal is often summed up in the words “Be, Know, Do.”  It can also be summed up with the name of Sgt. Christopher Pesut.

It was during his daily commute along I-64 in Clark County last June that Pesut saw a tractor trailer rig run off the road and overturn.  Pesut immediately stopped to render assistance along with two civilians.

“I started running for the vehicle and saw the whole bottom was ripped out,” said Pesut.  “I could see the driver’s legs, so I ran around to the other side and started yelling through the top because it was also ripped out.  There was blood all over the place and the driver seemed pretty much out of it.”

Pesut assessed the situation and conferred with one of the civilians who identified herself as a nurse.  The decision was made to extract the driver from the vehicle and render first aid.  Pesut stayed long enough to brief paramedics on what happened and hand the injured man off for treatment. 

“Then I got in my car and came on to work,” he said.

Pesut credits his combat lifesaver training and experience as a Soldier with the way he handled the situation.

“My first instinct was that I had to do something,” he said.  “I was really nervous, but I went up there and automatically did my thing.  I never hesitated.”

“I know for a fact that if I hadn’t been in the Guard I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did.”

For his actions Pesut received the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal in a ceremony held last week at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort. 

“The thing that touches me about what Sgt. Pesut did was that he responded, he did his job and then he walked off without seeking recognition,” said Col. Charlie Jones, who presented the award.  “He didn’t even bother to hang around and take credit for what he did.”

Pesut’s actions came to the command’s attention only when he called to say why he was late to work.

“To him this was just a battle reaction drill,” Jones said.  “He didn’t even think about it.  He just did what he was trained to do and that was it.  That is really impressive.” 

A resident of Mount Sterling, Pesut works as a human resources specialist at Boone Center.  He’s also a member of the 103rd Chemical Battalion.

His mother, Elizabeth Peters, is also a resident of Mount Sterling.

Pesut comes from a military background.  His father and his uncle were both fighter pilots with the Navy and his grandfather flew in Vietnam with the Air Force.  Their service inspired him to join the military.

 “I just had to do the Army thing,” he said.

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