first published on August 17, 2019 by Funker
A 1st Armored Division soldier was presented with a medal for his heroic actions during the incident in Texas last weekend.
PFC Glendon Oakley Jr., originally of Macon, Georgia, was awarded an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) for taking immediate action to get as many children to safety as possible.
The incident was unfolding approximately 800 feet from where Oakley was at the time. A child ran into the Foot Locker store where he was shopping and reported the event. Oakley could hear shots nearby and ran toward the sound to assist anyone in need.
Oakley is a concealed carry permit holder and was under arms at the time. He drew his piece and exited the mall which shared a parking lot with the Walmart where the incident was taking place.
He looked around and saw several unsupervised children running around with no adults present. Oakley began rounding them up and bringing them to a more secure position.
This is Glen Oakley.
He was in the @FootLocker when the El Paso shooting happened. When he ran to leave, he saw kids in the mall without their parents, scared and alone.
So he picked up as many as he could and carried them to safety.
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) August 3, 2019
“I saw a whole bunch of kids running around without their parents … I tried to pick up as many as I could and bring them with me,” he said in an MSNBC interview.
Oakley expressed frustration with the media and blogs for claiming that he was overhyping his role in the situation, given that he wasn’t actually in the Walmart where the incident was taking place. However, Oakley’s concern was with the children and what he did was nothing short of selfless bravery.
Although a Soldiers Medal, the Army’s highest award for non combat valor, would seem more fitting. The red tape and length of the bureaucratic process would have likely buried the award into obscurity. The ARCOM award process is relatively painless and allowed Oakley to be recognized for his actions in a timely manner. Well earned, soldier.