LEWISBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia Army National Guard Sgt. Bradley Parker Walls responded to two emergencies Dec. 26, reporting a neighbor’s house fire and providing lifesaving aid at a two-vehicle accident.
Walls, a 13B field artillery cannon crewmember, is serving on State Active Duty with the WVARNG, working the night shift at Southern Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Beaver. He was leaving home for work about 5 p.m. when he noticed smoke from his neighbor’s house.
“The Guard gives us a sense of paying attention to detail,” Walls said. “I knew that they didn’t have a fireplace and their water had been frozen. So, they weren’t home, they were away taking showers.”
He called his neighbor, Joey Boone, then dialed 911.
“I just thought, ‘I hope he is wrong,’” said Boone, who was with his wife, Kelly, and their three young children getting cleaned up after extreme cold froze their water. Boone rushed home and found Walls and the Lewisburg Fire Department on the scene.
“Parker gave me his coat, as I didn’t have one to wear,” Boone said. “We have fire damage and a lot of smoke damage. If he wouldn’t have called, it would have burned a lot worse. It would have probably burned to the ground.”
After doing all he could for his neighbors, Walls set off for work and came upon a two-vehicle accident that had just occurred. One person was trapped in their car.
“The accelerator was stuck,” Walls said. “It was burning all the tires off and started sparking. By the time I got to the car, the back of the car was on fire. I assisted other citizens of Lewisburg to get him away from the car safely and to a safe distance. Me and two other ladies helped render aid as much as we could to the gentleman until EMS arrived.”
“My adrenaline was still pumping,” Walls said. “So, you know, I still look back at it and … I don’t even know what happened. I was just the first one to roll up on the southbound side.
“I just … it’s like answering the call to our country. I just answered the call to our community. This is what we do as well.”
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Graham, Walls’ supervisor during this State Active Duty and at Charlie Battery, 201st Field Artillery Regiment, wasn’t surprised that Walls stepped up to help.
“It’s what I would expect any of us to do if we saw something like that and were able to help,“ Graham said. “And that’s just Wallsey; that’s just how he is.”
“He’s a fantastic neighbor and a great friend,” Boone said. “I’ve watched him grow up into a great young man. We look out for each other.”