National Guard Airman receives Ohio Cross for rescuing woman
By Tech. Sgt. Shane Hughes, 178th Wing
/ Published February 18, 2020
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Lt. Gov. Jon Husted awarded the Ohio Cross to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan K. Tucker, the operations compliance superintendent at the 178th Wing, during the Ohio National Guard’s Joint Senior Leaders Conference Feb. 14.
The Ohio Cross is awarded to any member of the Ohio National Guard who distinguishes themselves by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their life.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award,” Tucker said.
On the morning of Sept. 20, 2018, Tucker stopped at a gas station just outside Springfield Air National Guard Base. Before Tucker could exit his vehicle, another vehicle crashed into the front of his vehicle before coming to a stop. Tucker exited the vehicle and made contact with the driver, Jessica Roberts. As he did, he noticed blood from lacerations across her throat.
Just moments later, another vehicle swerved into the gas station and rammed Roberts’ vehicle, which she narrowly escaped. Without hesitation, Tucker placed himself between Roberts and her assailant, her husband. After Tucker intervened in his military uniform, Roberts’ husband fled the scene.
“I wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t helped,” Roberts said. “He’s a true hero.”
Tucker turned his attention to Roberts and applied first aid he’d learned as a member of the Ohio Air National Guard. He called 911 and attempted to calm and stabilize the victim. When local law enforcement officers arrived, Tucker helped a police officer apply first aid to control Roberts’ bleeding and prepared her for medical evacuation. Despite life-threatening injuries, the victim was safely evacuated by helicopter to a hospital and made a full recovery.
“It is in crisis situations like the one that Master Sgt. Tucker found himself in that bring out our true nature,” said 178th Wing Commander Kimberly Fitzgerald. “He demonstrated courage and a willingness to put someone else’s life before his own personal safety. We are proud of him and thankful to have him in the 178th Wing.”