Fort Benning officer receives Soldier’s Medal for tackling knife wielding man

| May 13, 2021

Jeff LPH 3 sends in this Army Times piece;

An officer at Fort Benning, Georgia, received the Soldier’s Medal this week, more than two years after he tried to save a soldier from an ambush stabbing attack that interrupted a post-deployment celebration.

Capt. Christopher Long may have received the Army’s highest award for non-combat valor, but he told other soldiers that he regrets not acting faster to save Sgt. Amy Colbert, a mother of two who was marking her return from her second deployment.

Fort Benning commander Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe presented the award to Long in a small outdoor ceremony Monday.

The attack occurred on the night of April 6, 2019. Colbert had returned home to Fort Bliss, Texas, from Kuwait only a week before. Her unit was excited to be home, and they were gathering to celebrate.

But Colbert’s husband, Lance, was disguised and waiting with a 13-inch hunting knife for his wife to arrive, according to Long. Lance was also an Army noncommissioned officer.

“He pulled out a big 13-inch hunting blade hidden in his pants,” Long recalled in an Army news release. “He went for his wife.”

The former infantryman-turned personnel staff officer jumped into action as Lance ambushed his spouse with the knife.

“I got there as fast as I could, ripped him off her and took him to the ground,” Long said. “I just held him…until the MPs got there.”

Long unfortunately was unable to save Colbert, who died from her wounds.

“I didn’t [initially] know he had a knife. Had I known he had it, she would be alive,” said Long. “It’s tough because I wish I would have been fast enough…but I wasn’t.”

Long later testified against Lance at his court-martial.

After Long’s testimony, the assailant was convicted of murdering his wife, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole as part of a plea agreement.

For Long, though, no award can account for the loss he bore witness to that day.

“Now her kids are without a parent. I deal with that all the time. I wish I had been a little bit faster,” he said.

 

Category: Army, Guest Link, Valor

Comments (6)

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  1. MI Ranger says:

    Tough burden to bare. Job well done, but we are a team and one should not be expected to do everything. It is a shame that others could not have assisted her.

    • KoB says:

      Word up MI Ranger. Hard to overcome an ambush surprise. Another shame is we have to feed, cloth, house, and medicate this worthless, murderous, trash from hell for the rest of his pathetic life. What’s with the sentences of life in prison when there is no shadow of a doubt that the perp is guilty as all hell of murder in the FIRST (ht 2 USMVMSgt (Ret) Degree? A rope and a scaffold should be his sentence. We can only hope that Bubba, Thor, Julio, and “Mr. Tiny” will stick him multiple times with something that is 13 inches long.

      • Mason says:

        I was looking for a disposition in his case and it looks like he hasn’t faced trial yet. It’s possible he’ll get the death penalty. If true, an ambush is pretty clearly premeditated murder.

      • rgr769 says:

        I have a legal solution for this shortcoming regarding application of the death penalty. It is a new standard of proof for the penalty phase of aggravated first degree murder. If the defendant is proven unquestionably guilty beyond any doubt, the death penalty is mandatory. Then dirtbag murderers like this asswipe who ambushed his wife from “lying in wait” (an aggravating factor) would be headed for be “going for the big sleep,” as Ren and Stimpy would say. Back in jolly ol’ England before they abolished it, the death penalty was mandatory in all convictions of first degree murder. The judge had to impose it if the defendant was found guilty of first degree (premeditated) murder.

  2. Graybeard says:

    Unfortunately we cannot save the innocent all the time.

    It hurts like hell when we can’t.

  3. ChipNASA says:

    Dude, (I know he will never read this but…)
    You did what you could.
    Leave it to G.U.S. God, Universe and Spirit.
    If her life were meant to be saved, it would have been. His hand would not have been so true. He’s have hesitated. Something.
    You took a “nothing” but yourself to a knife fight.
    that says a fuck of a lot.
    Be proud of what you did and let the powers that be handle the rest.
    Allow yourself that. You had no responsibility there and therefore, you carry no burden.
    Your actions were, in fact, outside of the scope, above and beyond.
    Be at peace with that.
    We are honored that there are men like you in the first place.