Beale Airman recognized for heroic act
By 1st Lt. Clay Lancaster, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 03, 2016
BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- An Airman from Beale Air Force Base was awarded the Airman’s Medal July 29 for his heroic actions in saving the life of a fellow Airman here.
Senior Airman Terron Matthews, a 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant crew chief, responded to a friend in need who had sent texts indicating he was planning to commit suicide.
“He was the type of person where a suicidal thought was the last thing on my mind,” Matthews said. “He hadn’t done anything leading up to the event that made me think that suicide was a possibility.”
After receiving the suicidal texts Matthews rushed over to his friend’s house and found him in the backyard with two handguns. Matthews, while waiting for local law enforcement, was able to convince his friend to surrender one of the two weapons.
“Too much was going through my head on my way there; I didn’t know what to expect,” Matthews said. “Honestly I was just hoping he was alive. When I did find him and knew he was alive, he had a look on his face I had never seen another man have.”
Once law enforcement arrived the situation quickly developed and his friend attempted to harm himself with the second weapon. Ultimately, Matthews was able to wrestle his friend to the ground, where he managed to gain control of the second weapon and prevent bodily harm to his friend and himself.
The Airman’s Medal is awarded for Airmen who distinguish themselves by a heroic act and usually involve members voluntarily risking their own life.
"You never know what people are going through; they could have the biggest smile on their face but could have problems in their personal life," Matthews said. "You show a person that you genuinely care and you would be surprised what they open up with."