Dave George is a big Sounders fan. A member of the Emerald City Supporters, Dave played a big role in helping to start two different regional subgroups of the ECS; the Seattle Sounders East (SSE) for fans on the East Coast of the United States, as well as ROKS (Republic Of Korea Sounders) for fans who find themselves in South Korea.
Dave, as you might have guessed, is in the military. He's a Sergeant First Class in the Army and a Puget Sound native, having spent time here growing up and going to Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Last January, in South Korea, while driving home after being on duty all night, Dave came across the scene of a single-auto accident. A car had slid off the icy road into some trees. One passenger was out of the car and frantically trying to pull the driver out, but the driver was stuck in the car.
More importantly, the car was on fire.
Dave jumped right into action. As you can see from the photo, other people continued to drive past. Dave jumped out and using a belt-cutter, as well as his own hands (strong from his job working on Blackhawk helicopters) manged to rip out some of the dash and extract the driver from the car.
The above photo is what it looked like about 20 or 30 seconds after Dave got the guy out. Here's what it looked like just a couple of minutes later:
As you can imagine, Dave has been hailed as a hero, but he's the kind of guy who figures he just did what anyone else would have done. He even said (in a comment on one of these pictures, which I ruthlessly stole from his Facebook account) "I was just in the right place at the right time."
For the guy driving the car, that's for sure!
The United States Army has a medal known as the Soldier's Medal. It's a pretty big deal; it's the highest honor a soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation. The criteria for the medal are:
The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States... ...distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.
On August 29th, the United States Army awarded Sgt First Class David George the Soldier's Medal for his actions in January.
Dave is a great guy and has made an impact, not just in the Sounders community, but around the world on behalf of the United States. He is a terrific example of what it means to be a Sounder, and many of us are proud and honored to have supported our Club alongside of Dave, both in the Brougham End and at some away matches as well.
(Edited to add this photo of Dave and Rachel George...)