Fort Gordon soldier's heroic act saves family trapped in vehicle
By JOZSEF PAPP | The Augusta Chronicle | Published: May 30, 2020
FORT GORDON (Tribune News Service) — Fort Gordon Spc. Joshua Bolden doesn't consider himself a hero after saving a mother and two children from a flipped vehicle after an accident Wednesday.
"It was just second nature to me. I was just helping. It wasn't like I was trying to be heroic," Bolden said. "It was just something that you should do, you should help. That is just something everybody should do."
Bolden, who is part of the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, was on his way to pick up his son from the boy's grandparents home when someone ran a red light, causing a three-vehicle accident in which one of the vehicles flipped on its side on Wheeler Road near Interstate 20. Bolden, 19, quickly jumped into action to help.
"My first reaction was, 'go help out. When I got to the car, the woman told me she had two kids in the back. I couldn't find the little daughter at first because she was hanging upside down on her car seat. The son immediately unstrapped and he came to me," he said. "There were a couple of people outside waiting to help, so as soon as I pulled him out of the car, I passed him off and proceeded to look for the daughter. Since she was upside down, it was kind of hard for me to unstrap her while she was suspended in the air."
After pulling everyone to safety and knowing paramedics were on the way, Bolden quietly left the scene. His superiors didn't know about the incident until the next day.
"I didn't hear about the incident until the day after because just the type of soldier Spc. Bolden is, he felt it was just a day-to-day thing that anybody would have done," said 1st Sgt. Steven Manuel of ther 67th's Charlie Company. "He didn't think it was nothing special, so after the incident I didn't hear anything about it until it went to up to higher command."
Manuel said he was amazed by Bolden's bravery and selflessness but said that's expected of soldiers. He classified Bolden as an outstanding soldier and someone he would expect nothing less from.
Bolden will complete his second year in the military in June. In high school, he was part of the Navy ROTC and was a fire explorer before enlisting.
"Being in the military has brought up my confidence a little bit, but I was a fire explorer before I joined the military, so that aspect of helping people wasn't really a new thing for me," he said.
Manuel knows Bolden's heroic act will be an example to other soldiers at Fort Gordon.
"That sets an example for other soldiers to follow because a lot of soldiers, usually when someone does something good, they want to do the same thing," he said. "I'm pretty sure if any of the soldiers came into a situation like that, they would do the same thing. No questions asked."