FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Army Capt. Steve Voglezon can only laugh when asked how he feels about the nickname that he received when he risked his personal safety on May 17 to help rescue three badly injured motorists from a terrifying car crash and fire.
Given that Voglezon was wearing a Captain America T-shirt in the course of his heroics, his new nickname, “Captain America,” was bound to happen after video of the accident and rescue scene were broadcast on a national morning news program.
The video went viral online within minutes of the broadcast.
Voglezon, a missile defense officer assigned to the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, was traveling north on his way from the Fort Bragg area for a day of shopping when he drove up to the scene of two badly mangled vehicles on a rural road.
Approaching the Accident Wreckage
Voglezon approached a damaged silver sport utility vehicle and found the driver to be alert, but injured.
“As we were pulling him out we saw that he had an open fracture on his right ankle. I grabbed his torso and two others grabbed one leg, then the other leg, and we took him about one hundred yards from the crash and the fire,” Voglezon recalled.
“I talked to him and said, ‘Hey, what’s your name?’ He said it was Marc and I asked him, ‘Where are you from?’ and he said, ‘Cary (North Carolina).’ I said, ‘Hey, I’m Steve, nice to meet you.’”
Voglezon said he then put a tourniquet below the man’s knee.
“I heard an explosion afterwards, and I looked up and saw Sgt. Green from the Chatham County Sheriff Department over by the red car, by himself, trying to get in the car,” Voglezon added.
Extracting an Injured Driver
Both doors were jammed, so Voglezon and Green decided to use fire extinguishers provided by homeowners in the area to break the red car’s windows. The driver was extracted soon afterward, and Voglezon and the deputy turned their attention to the driver’s wife, who was wedged into the crushed side of the car, now consumed in flames.
The passenger was eventually freed by first responders who relieved Vogleson and Green from their rescue efforts.
A Soldier’s Duty
When asked why he took the action he did, in spite of the obvious danger of explosions, Voglezon said it was his duty as a soldier.
“I realized I was the only one there who could help. So I ran forward to see what I could do,” Voglezon said.
“I’m not a medic, I’m not infantry ... just the basics. We go through training annually, combat lifesaver, that’s all I have,” he said of his medical experience.
The air defense officer will relinquish battery command in the coming weeks and will attend training to become an Army acquisition officer.
When asked how he feels about being called a hero, the captain is quick with modesty.
“I’m not [a hero]. I was there with at least 10 other people helping as well,” Voglezon said. “We have first responders, police, firefighters, EMS and military all over the world who do this every day. I just happened to be there with a camera rolling.”