The motto of the U.S. National Guard is "Always Ready, Always There," and Staff Sgt. Cory Hinkle certainly took that to heart. Hinkle was on his way home recently when he stopped to save a woman who didn't even know.
Hinkle, who is stationed in Charlotte, NC, was driving to Forest City, NC where he lives when two cars ahead of him collided head-on.
“I saw the cars in front of me just slam into each other and dust and smoke go everywhere,” Hinkle told WBTV. An Iraq veteran, Hinkle didn't hesitate for a moment before running over to help. “My instinct and training tells me that a smoke means there’s going to be a fire, and a car has gasoline in it,” Hinkle said.
And he was right. Brandy Guin, 28, was trapped in her car, unable to walk because she had a broken ankle. Bleeding and semiconscious, Guin was helpless until Hinkle helped her to the side of the road. But his kindness didn't stop there.
“As the fire started to spread in my car, the shocks started to explode and hot debris was flying everywhere,” Guin, a mom-of-three, said. “He shielded me with his body and said ‘It’s going to have to go through me to get to you.'”
He draped himself over Guin so the flying metal wouldn't hurt her. Unfortunately, a scrap piece hit Hinkle's ankle, causing it to bruise and swell. Thankfully that was the full extent of his injuries. So why did Hinkle stop for a perfect stranger instead of dialing 911 and hightailing it out of there?
“It’s a belief in humanity that I have. I have a wife and two daughters, and I hope if my wife was in the same situation someone would stop and do the exact same thing,” Hinkle said.
Guin is still in the hospital, and Hinkle comes to visit her from time to time. They're now friends, and boy do they have a great story about how they met.
Without Hinkle, Guin says, she wouldn't be here today. “I will forever be indebted to him. He’s a true hero.”