Earlier this month, Sgt. James Yates was preparing to be honored for his service overseas, but just hours before the ceremony, he performed another act of heroism much closer to home.
According to KCCI-TV, Courtney Pearson was underneath her SUV checking out a leak when the jack failed and the vehicle fell on top of her.
“I had my kids out playing and as soon as the car fell they heard me scream. I said, ‘Go find a neighbor, go find a neighbor — somebody, anybody,” the mother from Des Moines, Iowa, told KCCI.
Pearson’s 11-year-old found Yates three houses away.
The Army reservist rushed to the trapped woman, re-positioned the jack and pushed the Chevy Blazer back up, having to try twice before Pearson was able to get out.
Fortunately for Pearson, she only suffered bruising on her back and chest. Yates told her to keep calm and called for medical help. But when Pearson was ready to thank Yates, he had disappeared. At the time, she didn’t even know his name.
According to KCCI, Yates was in the neighborhood only to pick up his girlfriend for a local arena football game where he would be honored for tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While overseas looking for IEDs with fellow soldiers, one bomb was missed.
“From what I was told, it took us straight up and then down — both our front wheels were gone,” Yates told KCCI of the truck that was blown by an IED.
For his injuries, which impacted his spinal cord, Yates received the Purple Heart.
“He’s an amazing person, and I just wish I could thank him,” Pearson told the news station. It’s something she plans on doing soon.
Watch KCCI’s report about the man’s heroic actions: