We first heard about this story (a soldier rushed into a burning bus to save the passengers) over at This Ain't Hell, but it was only a rumor at the time. Later, the story went national and Jonn Lilyea said that the Soldier in the story should get the Soldier's Medal. After you read this, I think you'll agree 100%. Sergeant Nick sends:
...At about 1:20 a.m., the bus pulled back onto the highway. It had just crossed the rough surface of the road’s shoulder when a Matrix Expedited Services truck carrying 14,000 pounds of ball bearing crashed into it.
It woke Michelle, and her mom began telling her to get out of the bus.
Michelle stood up. “I turned around and you could see the transport truck there on fire at the back of the bus.”
At about the same time, Army Sgt. Jacob Perkins, 28, was driving his truck westbound. Perkins was stationed at Fort Drum in the First Squadron 89th Calvary Regiment and had served in Iraq. He was beginning a couple of weeks leave with a long drive to his home in Mountain Grove, Mo.
“It was just a big fireball of a crash. There were two vehicles burning on the side of the road and people were outside, but there weren’t any first responders there,” he said.
Perkins pulled his truck over.
“All of a sudden this guy came running. He ran right onto the bus that was fully engulfed in flames,” Michelle said...
Apparently Perkins touched every seat on the bus even though it was on fire - because the think heavy smoke made it impossible to see - but like a good sergeant he got his headcount right and everyone was accounted for...
...Though the tractor-trailer driver died in the accident, police said there were no fatalities on the tour bus thanks largely to the heroic actions of Sgt. Jacob Perkins, who is stationed at the nearby Fort Drum army base and is with the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Brigade, 189 Cavalry.
The Army has said that Perkins was part of a brigade that had just gone on leave Wednesday and was driving to Missouri to celebrate his daughter's birthday when he pulled over to help rescue the victims...
Sergeant Perkins is Someone You Should Know.