Tanya Porter, a nurse at Madigan Army Medical Center, was given the Secretary of the Army Award for Valor by Army Secretary Mark Esper for her brave efforts in saving train crash victims in a tragic incident in December.

Porter was driving home from her night shift with her mom, Mary Porter, on the morning of Dec. 18 when an Amtrak train derailed over Interstate I-5 south of DuPont, Washington, killing three and injuring more than 60 people.

Leaning on her medical training, Porter sprang out of her vehicle with her small first aid kit and began to treat the injured victims of the crash.

With little regard for her own safety in the wreckage, Porter went victim to victim to provide medical care and treatment. At one point, she even ventured under a dangling train car to provide care for the victims lying on the ground.

Even after ambulances and paramedics arrived at the site, Porter continued to provide care.

According to Maj. Parker Hahn, the chief of the Madigan Critical Care Nursing Department, Porter’s actions were not surprising. “She’s an amazing nurse, she’s an amazing employee, but she’s an even better person,” Hahn said to the Army.

Hahn submitted Porter for the award after her actions, immediately recognizing the importance of what she had done.

Col. Michael Place, Commander of Madigan Army Medical Center, observes his staff's response in the Emergency Department following the Amtrak train derailment near DuPont Wa on Dec. 18. Tanya Porter, a nurse at Madigan, was honored on June 1 for her selfless actions of bravery during the incident.
Col. Michael Place, Commander of Madigan Army Medical Center, observes his staff's response in the Emergency Department following the Amtrak train derailment near DuPont Wa on Dec. 18. Tanya Porter, a nurse at Madigan, was honored on June 1 for her selfless actions of bravery during the incident.

The Secretary of the Army Award for Valor is the highest award in the Army for civilians who voluntarily risk their personal safety in an act of heroism or sacrifice.

This award is not the only recognition that Porter has been given since her acts of heroism in mid-December. She was also publicly recognized by Madigan Commander Col. Michael Place and Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command and the Chief of the Army Nurse Corps.