Hometown Hero: Man helps save two people from deadly plane crash

1SG Lance Anderson is this year’s Military Hero for his decision to run toward danger instead of away from it.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —  First Sergeant Lance Anderson doesn’t consider himself a hero.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like I did anything that anybody else wouldn’t have done. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” he said.

But those who know him would beg to differ.

“I decided to nominate 1SG Anderson for this award because I felt that his actions directly reflected what I consider a hero,” said Second Lieutenant Rebecca Saldecke. “He was very selfless and reactive without thinking what consequences could happen to himself.”

In May of 2016, Anderson was stationed in Afghanistan near Camp Dwyer, a military airfield in Helmand Province.

On May 18, Anderson was headed back to the barracks when he noticed a plume of black smoke.

“At that point I exited the vehicle and walked up to an elevated position where the soldiers told me a plane had crashed,” Anderson said.

Anderson then jumped back into his truck and raced to the crash site as fast as he could.

“It was just a reaction. It was the right thing to do to try to see if we could save anybody,” he said.

When he got there, the plane was already engulfed in flames but two people were able to make it out alive.

“One guy actually was kind of drug out to me so I kind of took control of the situation, got the guy in the vehicle, while we were loading him up another individual was able to kind of crawl to us sort of speak,” he said. “We loaded him up and then from that point I moved down to aid station as fast as I could.”

Those two were the only ones to survive the crash. The seven other crew members on board were killed.

“I probably didn’t process it until a few days later and it was like ‘Wow I can’t believe that happened. Did that really happen?’ And you start thinking about it and I spent a lot of days thinking ‘Is there anything else I could have done? Could I have done something different?’ Analyzing it and unfortunately there was just nothing else we could do with the given situation,” Anderson said.

It was later released that the cargo plane, operated by Silk Way Airlines, crashed during takeoff after one its wings clipped the runway. The civilian flight was operating under a contract with NATO.

“He’s always looking to help people out regardless if they are in the military or civilians,” said Saldecke. “I know that that wasn’t even a question. He just acted because it was the right thing to do.”

“I don’t feel like it was necessarily a hero I just think I did what any soldier would do,” Anderson said.

Anderson has served for nearly 20 years and has earned numerous military awards.

Hometown Heroes will get their awards March 16 during a dinner at the Broadmoor.

>> Click here for more information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s