Reader's Comments


Becky Lambert, GSM     New Site, Ms
Thank you, Shane, for your service.  Wilma, thank you for raising such an awesome son!  Our Guardian Angels watch over us daily!  May God Bless!

Jill Self     Pontotoc,MS
Thank-You Shane for your service to America and to Mississippi.

Army Specialist Shane Pugh
Died March 2, 2005 in Iraq

Several stories have been submitted to the Journal for consideration, and not just from north Mississippi. Many of those stories have already been told, and some will be told in the coming weeks. This story, however, is one of the best and quite honestly, deserves to be told. Please send us stories of the people you know that deserve to be honored for their sacrifice and service.

Army Specialist Shane Pugh was from Stonewall, MS, just outside of Meridian. As the oldest of five children, Shane grew up with a heart to serve people. His passion for helping people expressed itself first as a volunteer firefighter. He was also a licensed paramedic/phlebotomist who worked for United Blood Services in Meridian. His co-workers there recognized Shane as the most upbeat member of their team, always looking for ways to improve their services and make things more comfortable for their patients. Shane's heart was always focused on other people's needs.

He took it one step further when he joined the National Guard as a medic in 1999. Six years later, Shane's unit - the Mississippi National Guard's 155th Infantry - would be deployed to Iraq. Nearly 3,500 Mississippians made the journey to Iskandariyah, a region just outside of Baghdad. 

On March 2, 2005, Spec. Shane Pugh and Sgt. Ellis Martin were on foot patrol, something they had done numerous times before. As they began to secure an area near a vehicle, an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) detonated, badly wounding both Spec. Pugh and Sgt. Martin. Lying in the dust, Spec. Pugh realized that Sgt. Martin needed medical attention quickly. As a medic, he knew it was his responsibility.

Even though Spec. Pugh was bleeding profusely, he demanded that attention first be given to Sgt. Martin.  Spec. Pugh talked his fellow soldiers through the process of getting Sgt. Martin’s bleeding under control. The attention given to Sgt. Martin helped stabilize his condition enough for him to be transported, where he would receive 52 more units of blood. Unfortunately, in the process of helping his fellow soldier, Spec. Pugh had lost too much of his own blood. He died in a medivac shortly afterward. Sgt. Martin would ultimately recover from his wounds.

For his bravery, Spec. Pugh was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest honor any soldier can receive. Major General Harold Cross, adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard, had this to say about Spec. Pugh:

“Shane Pugh deserves this award so much because he was on the battlefield as he lay mortally wounded, under fire and helped another soldier keep his life. Because of his actions, another soldier lived to come back to this great country and enjoy the freedoms of America."

Spec. Pugh sacrificed his own life to save that of another. He grew up as a child who simply liked to help people and died as a soldier doing exactly what he felt called to do. That sacrifice cost his family dearly. Shane Pugh was just three weeks shy of celebrating his first anniversary with his wife. His mother, Wilma Allen, misses her son deeply. She now volunteers much of her time serving causes that honor Shane's memory and carry on his mission. She is a member of the Gold Star Mothers of Mississippi and the Patriot Guard Riders. She spends a great deal of her time doing exactly what Shane did in his life - helping others.

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Army Specialist Shane Pugh saved the life of Sgt Ellis Martin when the two were wounded together in Iraq. For his heroic effort, Spec Pugh received the Silver Star medal, the only member of the 155th Mississippi National Guard to be honored that way.

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