NEWS | June 11, 2020

Act of Bravery Inspires U.S.-Japan Alliance

By Sgt. Raquel Birk 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade

SAGAMIHARA, Japan – A routine drive almost turned deadly for a member of the local Japanese community Friday morning.

Col. Patrick M. Costello, 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander, helped rescue a local man from his toppled vehicle to ensure his safety at Sagamihara Route 507 at approximately 5:40 a.m. June 5.

“The vehicle flipped over right in front of me, so I stopped and went over to get the man out of the vehicle,” said Costello. “The roads were empty, so I acted as quickly as possible. Another American worker from Sagami General Depot and a local Japanese civilian helped me get him out.”

First responders arrived on scene shortly after.

“It was inspirational to see the Americans and Japanese work together with the common goal of ensuring the man’s safety,” said Costello. “We always talk about how strong the U.S.-Japan alliance is because of close and constant engagements at all levels and a commitment working through tough issues for the benefit of both nations, but it’s a whole other experience to witness it first-hand.”

Costello’s bravery is indicative of his leadership style and the embodiment of the Army Values.

“Col. Costello’s actions do not surprise me,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Sartain, 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade senior enlisted advisor. “He is an absolute Warrior who is at all times up for the safety and care of all Soldiers, civilians, and community members. It speaks volumes on the type of person that he is and what he is willing to do for people.”

Soldiers with the 38th ADA Brigade, stationed at Sagami General Depot, Japan, work closely with members of the local community and aspire to emulate the example set forth by their commander.

“I did what I believe any of our Soldiers would have done in that situation,” said Costello. “I did what was right.”