HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen, Marine work together to save Okinawa Marine's life

United States Marine Corp Lt. Col. Giuseppe Stavale, III Marine Headquarters Group executive officer, and Sgt. Maj. Mario Fields, III MHG sergeant major, present Airmen 1st Class Martin Sebastian and Andres Ordaz, 18th Munitions Squadron munitions systems technicians and U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nelson Ellwood, a sub team chief with the 3rd Intelligence Battalion, awards for saving the life of a U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. after the lieutenant and Elwood sustained injuries during an accident at the Kadena auto hobby shop, April 7, 2017, on Camp Hansen, Japan. Thanks to the quick reactions of the two Airmen and Ellwood, the life of the lieutenant was saved after sustaining a wound resulting in a femoral bleed. (Senior Airman Nick Emerick/Released)

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Giuseppe Stavale, III Marine Headquarters Group (MHG) executive officer, and Sgt. Maj. Mario Fields, III MHG sergeant major, present Airmen 1st Class Martin Sebastian and Andres Ordaz, 18th Munitions Squadron munitions systems technicians and U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nelson Ellwood, a sub team chief with the 3rd Intelligence Battalion, awards for saving the life of a U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. after the lieutenant and Elwood sustained injuries during an accident at the Kadena auto hobby shop, April 7, 2017, on Camp Hansen, Japan. Thanks to the quick reactions of the two Airmen and Ellwood, the life of the lieutenant was saved after sustaining a wound resulting in a femoral bleed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nick Emerick)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

A defining trait of any tragedy is that you never know when it will take place or the kind of repercussions it may have. It’s thus a responsibility of all military personnel to be trained to handle crises whenever and wherever they occur.

Thanks to the quick reactions of two 18th Munitions Squadron Airmen and U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nelson Ellwood, a sub team chief with the 3rd Intelligence Battalion, the life of a Marine Corps 1st Lt. was saved after they sustained a wound resulting in a femoral bleed.

“In the moment, I was just doing what I was trained to do; but knowing I saved someone’s life feels really good,” said Airman 1st Class Martin Sebastian, a munitions systems technician with the 18th MUNS. “When I arrived on the scene I was hesitant at first to take action, I looked around and saw that everyone else had kind of frozen just like me, but I knew something had to be done, so I started following Staff Sergeant Ellwood’s instructions; I adjusted the belt to where it needed to be and cranked it as tight as I could. Then someone called for a socket extension so I could ensure the tourniquet was as tight as possible. It’s a lot different in real life than in training. It feels like you could be hurting them, even if you know you’re doing the right thing.”

According to Airman 1st Class Andres Ordaz, after the incident occurred, he noticed the lieutenant was losing blood and helped to keep him calm during the first aid response of Sebastian.

“I started talking to him, making sure to keep him awake,” said Ordaz. “I made sure to stay calm and reassured him and just kept talking,”
Ordaz thinks if it had happened in the local community he would have taken more action, applied the tourniquet himself and be the one to take charge when others didn’t.

Airmen receive training in the form of self-aid and buddy care as part of their basic military training in anticipation of events such as these, wherever they may occur.

“I would have done the exact thing had it happened anywhere else, on or off base, especially after this incident, I wouldn’t hesitate to lend a hand and make sure that person is ok,” said Sebastian. “This experience has really prepared me for anything in the future; so if I see something where someone gets hurt, whether they’re Japanese or American, a kid or an adult, I would be willing to help on the spot.”

Ellwood also sustained injuries to his leg due to the accident, despite his being in pain, he helped to ensure proper treatment was supplied by Sebastian and Ordaz, ultimately making sure that the lieutenant was able to receive proper medical treatment after his safe transport to the hospital.

“I took action because I didn’t want to see someone die,” Sebastian said.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.