Army medic Michael Tackitt, a Hometown Hero - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Army medic Michael Tackitt, a Hometown Hero

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This week KCBD would like to honor Michael Tackitt as a "Hometown Hero". After graduating from Lubbock High School, Michael joined the U.S. Army.

For almost a year, Michael was stationed in Kuwait as an Army Medic saving countless lives. "When you get to make a difference it feels really good," said Michael. "There's nothing like it."

As his comrades fought for our country – Michael fought to save their lives, but there was one life he couldn't save. "I knew her from before the wreck. She had helped me with some of my finances," said Michael immediately tearing up.

He said it was a normal day, when all of a sudden his unit was called out to the scene of a roll over. What he saw next would forever stay with him.

Four soldiers were trapped inside the vehicle. "Normally the fire department would use the jaws of life and have all that. We had a sledge hammer and a couple of screw drivers, and we pretty much pried, smashed and got our way in," he said through tears. "Specialist Walters was the worst off and we sent her with the Kuwaiti EMTs to a local hospital that was closer."

After saving the other three soldiers, Michael and his unit began looking for Walters. It wasn't until several hours later that they found her.

"We found her in the morgue a couple blocks down from where the hospital was…" he paused in between tears. "When we found her they had stripped .... they had stripped her naked and taken everything off of her. Her uniform, boots, everything was gone and she was just left sitting out alone. When a soldier dies over there you never leave the body alone."

Michael couldn't hold back the tears any longer as he told the story of his friend. "There's always someone with them. It's just a matter of respect," he said.

Michael and his unit stayed with Walters' body for the rest of the night and into the morning waiting for her unit's commanders to arrive. It's a memory that he would trade for anything… a memory he wishes didn't exist. "I would rather be shot at and mortared all day than have to deal with that again," he said

When Michael returned to Lubbock, this hero continued his work as an EMT. Although he has saved many lives, he says he isn't the hero. "The main thing I want to come out of this is people not to forget soldiers that have passed over there. Specialist Walters and thousands and thousands of others, they're the real heroes," he said.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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