HomeNewsArticle Display

Barksdale reservist saves a life

Staff Sgt. Kenneth McMillen, (center), a structural carpenter assigned to the 307th RED HORSE Squadron, instructs a group of Airmen on proper procedures for clearing buildings during a training exercise at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 10, 2014. McMillen, who is also a Bowie County Sheriff’s deputy, has been credited with saving the life of a woman in a house fire on March 9, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jeff Walston)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth McMillen, (center), a structural carpenter assigned to the 307th RED HORSE Squadron, instructs a group of Airmen on proper procedures for clearing buildings during a training exercise at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 10, 2014. McMillen, who is also a Bowie County Sheriff’s deputy, has been credited with saving the life of a woman in a house fire on March 9, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jeff Walston)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- For the average worker, leaving the house every day doesn't lead to becoming a hero, however, for first responders that possibility is always there, as is the chance for disaster.

When Bowie County Sheriff Deputy Kenny McMillen, who is also an Air Force reservist assigned to the 307th RED HORSE at Barksdale Air Force Base started the graveyard shift on March 8, it began like any other. Within hours that would all change.

In the early morning of March 9, McMillen was dispatched through 911 to back up Deputy Michelle Carrier at a house fire.

The deputies were advised of the "possibility of two old people inside" the home.

"When the deputies arrived at the scene on Trexler Road, in the Redwater community of Northeast Texas, they found the house fully engulfed in flames and 68-year-old Dewey Melton lying nearby,” said Bowie County Sheriff James Prince. “He had been pulled out of the home by family members. The deputies were told Melton's wife, Loy Melton, was still inside the burning structure. Unfortunately, Mr. Melton was pronounced dead at the scene."

Reports show that McMillen and Carrier attempted to enter the burning house to find Mrs. Melton, but were forced out by the flames and smoke.

"Our deputies are not trained for fire rescue," said Bowie County Sheriff Capt. David Grable, a patrol captain. "They are trained to control the scene until the fire department arrives for the rescue, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way."

With seconds ticking away and no self-contained breathing apparatus available, McMillen wrapped a large piece of cloth around his head, and "dove into the residence and began to low crawl" through the inferno with Carrier holding on to his heel, using a flashlight to show the way. The two deputies made their way through the dense smoke and heat as the "fire was flashing across the ceiling."

"Once McMillen located Mrs. Melton, he pulled her from the burning structure. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Both deputies suffered smoke inhalation and were hospitalized overnight," Prince said.

"I'm very proud of the job they did. McMillen knew he had to act fast and he went in there," he said.

According to Grable, McMillen has been with the Bowie County Sheriff's Office for more than 10 years and Carrier is his newest troop, with less than a year with the department.

Lt. Col. Charles B. Chapman III, the commander of the 307th RED HORSE said, "As a hard-charging member of the 307th RED HORSE Squadron, it does not surprise me in the least that staff sergeant McMillen would put his own life on the line for someone else in need. His courageous and selfless action is typical. McMillen (is) dedicated to duty and willing to sacrifice for the greater good. I am extremely proud of him."

After all was said and done, McMillen took to Facebook to explain his actions.

"We took an oath when we became peace officers in the great state of Texas, and our duty is to protect, serve, and save lives of others,” McMillen wrote. “With that being said, to me it's not about being heroic, or receiving praises or glory for the task given, it's about the oath we took. Also, the second oath I took was when I joined the Air Force and learned the core values: integrity, SERVICE BEFORE SELF, and excellence in all we do. It's not about US it's about others."

Engage

Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,266,333
Follow Us