- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A member of the Louisiana National Guard has been awarded a highly valued non-combat medal for saving a woman who’d driven into a canal.

Capt. Andrew Gremillion was presented with the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest noncombat award, for his life-saving action at a ceremony Friday.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1WmqN9t ) that Gremillion dove into the New River Canal in Ascension Parish after he saw a vehicle bobbing in it in February 2014. He grabbed onto the car’s bumper and then pulled the driver out to safety.

Gremillion has served in Afghanistan and has worked 11 years for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Col. Pete Schneider said he believes it is the first time in its 89-year history the honor has been bestowed on a member of the Louisiana National Guard.

“The people that wear these uniforms, it’s just what they do,” Gremillion said. “I was fortunate enough that I was in a position to help a very nice lady in a not very nice situation.”

Nationwide, about 175 Soldier’s Medals have been awarded since 2001, Schneider said.

Past recipients include Colin Powell and, more recently, Alek Skarlatos, the Oregon National Guardsman who stopped a terrorist attack on a French train in August.

To be eligible for the Soldier’s Medal, service members must have performed an act that “involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy,” according to the official description.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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