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572-RIDE volunteer goes above and beyond for another Airman

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- A volunteer for 572-RIDE recently went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure a fellow Airman was safe and out of harm's way. 

Staff Sgt. Timothy Thomas, 49th Maintenance Squadron, received an early morning call in late February from an Airman who had just gotten into a car accident in Orogrande, N.M., about 45 minutes outside the Alamogordo area. 

"The Airman couldn't find his recall roster or his cell phone and the only number he could think to call was 572-RIDE," said Sergeant Thomas. "I didn't know if he was hurt or how serious it was and I knew there wasn't any law enforcement out there. I thought about trying to call his first shirt but didn't want to waste time, so I got in my car and went." 

Airman 1st Class Noel Meza was driving back to Holloman from El Paso, Texas, when he fell asleep at the wheel. 

"By the time I snapped out of it, I had realized I was going off to the side of the road," said Airman Meza. "I was told by the state police that the car was airborne for about 10 feet before I hit the ditch on the side of the road, causing the car to roll twice." 

The border and highway patrol showed up after Sergeant Thomas arrived. Airman Meza's first sergeant came out and relieved Sergeant Thomas so he could get to work the next morning. 

Sergeant Thomas has been volunteering for 572-RIDE since September but has only had calls for the local Alamogordo area. 

Airman Meza heard about 572-RIDE from numerous safety briefings while at work. 

"The 572-RIDE program is a group of outstanding volunteers who dedicate their off-duty time to making sure the Holloman community is safe," said Senior Airman Traci Coston, 49th Comptroller Squadron and 572-RIDE coordinator. "Sergeant Thomas was called to be a wingman and answered the call gracefully." 

To become a volunteer for 572-RIDE, contact Airman Coston by e-mail or call her at 572-2609.