TN National soldier from Athens awarded ribbon of valor

Local News

SMRYNA, Tenn. (WATE) – A Tennessee National Guard soldier from Athens was recognized Saturday for his heroics during the widespread flooding throughout the state last year.

Sergeant Ryan Grillo of Athens was awarded the Adjutant General’s Ribbon for Valor over the weekend. Grillo was driving to his civilian job last September during heaving rains when he saw two vehicles trapped in rising flood waters.

Sergeant Ryan Grillo, left and Major General Jeff Holmes, of the Tennessee National Guard. Source: TN Dept of Military

Grillo didn’t know if anyone was inside and he decided to check. That’s when he saw a mother and her small child in one vehicle and another woman in the second vehicle.

Sergeant Grillo and another good samaritan who stopped to help worked together to pull the three to safety.

Tennessee National Guard Major General Jeff Holmes says Sgt. Grillo, “represents everything that is right about the Tennessee National Guard.”

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