Nevada Soldier center stage at Real Heroes ceremony
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Steve Ranson - Lahontan Valley News
RENO – Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will forever have Sept. 6, 2011, etched in their minds.
On that summer morning at the IHOP restaurant on South Carson Street in the capital, a gunman armed with an AK-47 rifle opened fire on the patrons, killing five people including himself and injuring seven others.
Three of those killed were Soldiers in the Nevada National Guard who were
assigned to state headquarters on Fairview Drive.
First-responders wheeled into action and descended on IHOP during one of the
most horrific mass killings in Nevada history.
The Northern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross recognized the “Real
Heroes” of 2012 March 29 for their actions during the IHOP incident and at four other tragic events that occurred in western Nevada between June 2011 and January.
In addition to the IHOP shooting, heroes were honored for their quick responses following the Amtrak collision, the deadly plane crash at the Reno air races, and the Caughlin and Washoe Drive blazes.
Nevada Army Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Mock was both a victim and hero on that Tuesday morning at the IHOP. Although he was wounded, the 15-year veteran assisted other wounded diners in the aftermath of the shooting.
“September 6, I will never forget,” said Mock, who had recently returned
from a deployment to Afghanistan.
Speaking to about 300 attendees, Mock said several Guardsmen went to IHOP
for breakfast to plan for family-day events for the upcoming weekend.
Instead, the weekend became a memorial service for his fallen comrades.
Mock said he was especially grateful for the first-responders and
“I received outstanding care from the Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center,” Mock said, explaining how he initially anticipated receiving a helicopter airlift from the IHOP parking lot.
Instead, after the paramedics’ assessment, Mock was taken by ambulance to the local medical facility.
The shooting united Nevada’s Soldiers, according to Mock.
“The Nevada Guard is a community,” Mock said. “Traditional members of the Guard work side-by-side with everyone in a civilian capacity during the week. Then they do their weekend duty and get back to their civilian occupations.”
In addition to Mock, troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol and employees from the Carson City District Attorney’s Office were recognized.
Firefighters from several organizations including the National Guard were recognized for their suppression of the two major fires.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said he was honored to be at the breakfast.
“It is incredibly humbling to be in attendance with Nevada heroes,” Sandoval
said. “They put their lives in harm’s way. These are people stepping forward to help our community.”
Sandoval emphasized his appreciation for all of the first-responders and volunteers – especially Mock – in the wake of the IHOP incident.
“Despite the fact he was involved in the worst tragedy in Northern Nevada, Sergeant Mock stepped forward to assist others,” Sandoval said.