Every day, we hear stories of individuals who do things that are so brave and noble that they deserve nothing less than to be acclaimed as heroes by their peers. A member of this group is Army Spc. Ezra Maes. Thousands of people were moved by this young man’s courage, and what he did for his crewmates became a symbol of compassion and sacrifice.

The last time Maes served in Poland was in 2018 when he went with a group of his buddies. During a training exercise that lasted a whole night, the tank in which he and his fellow soldiers were sleeping began to slide down a steep slope.

Maes was certain it was a part of the exercise or maybe a hoax and shouted at the driver to stomp on the brakes, which the driver did. However, when the driver responded that it was not him, Maes knew that they were all in serious jeopardy together.

Keeping up with the tank, which was traveling at 90 miles per hour, was difficult.
In regards to the accident, Maes said, “We understood there was nothing more we could do and simply hung on.”

After a series of abrupt bumps, the tank came to rest against an embankment on the other side. Maes took a flying leap over the machinery, and his leg became entangled in the turret equipment.

His leg had been broken, but he was convinced it had been broken by the time he saw his friends suffering from severe injuries, one of whom had broken his back and another who was bleeding profusely from a deep cut on her thigh. He began twisting and turning his leg desperately in an attempt to free himself so that he could assist his companions. He was free in the blink of an eye, but he had lost his leg in the process of becoming free.

I pushed and tugged at my leg as much as I could to get it free and felt a searing rip.” He went on to say. It seemed as if my leg had come loose, but as I walked away, my leg had vanished entirely.

Although he was bleeding profusely from his leg, this courageous soldier was able to reach the medical kit and get a tourniquet despite the fact that he was losing a lot of blood.

He couldn’t worry about the agony he was in or the limb he had lost since the lives of his fellow troops were on his shoulders.
“All I could think about was the fact that no one knew we were down here,” he said afterward. “It’s either I step up or we’re all going to die.”

Fortunately, one of the phones was still functional, and Maes was able to contact assistance, which arrived at the scene of the accident very quickly.

Maes was brought to the local hospital and eventually moved to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where she is now recovering.

“I consider myself really fortunate,” he remarked. “Everyone on my staff does it. There were so many things that might have gone wrong. Except for my leg, we were all able to escape with minor injuries.”

Thanks for reading.

By Anna

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