Sweetwater, Texas.- The U.S. Army is now retracting a story it released praising a soldier for saving the life of a man near Sweetwater.
The story being called into question detailed how Sgt. Trey Troney, stationed at Fort Bliss, saved the life of a man off Interstate 20 near Sweetwater on Dec. 22, 2018. In the story, Troney said he used an ink pen to help a crash victim's collapsed lung.
"Due to factual inaccuracies, we retract "Iron Soldier saves man's life with hoodie, ink pen" story, published Jan 9. The entire 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss team sincerely apologize to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Highway Patrol, the city of Sweetwater, Texas, the city of El Paso, the University of Texas at El Paso, the New Orleans Saints, the local and national media and the American people." - Fort Bliss
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said it was not able to confirm Troney's alleged life-saving efforts.
DPS said an investigation confirmed that Troney was present during a crash in Nolan County on Dec. 22, but claims of life-saving efforts could not be verified.
Based on the evidence reviewed by DPS (including body camera footage), the department is unable to confirm the multiple statements attributed to Army Sergeant Trey Troney related to a recent traffic crash in Texas as reported in various open sources.
However, the department can confirm that DPS Troopers responded to and investigated a crash on Dec. 22, 2018, in Nolan County. While DPS Troopers were on scene investigating that crash, contact was made with Sergeant Troney who had stopped to assist.
DPS has found no evidence to support the claims of life-saving efforts made by Sergeant Troney and referenced in the articles. Troopers have completed their investigation of the crash and have not had any further contact with Sergeant Troney since the scene of the crash. - DPS
Media outlets across the nation quickly picked up the story and soon gifts started pouring out, including Super Bowl tickets.
The Sweetwater Fire Department and Ambulance Service was never able to verify the claims, either. The department said it took offense to the claims made by Troney because they save lives daily.
"If somebody wants to say they stuck a pen in somebody and saved their life, that's one thing but I'm not going to have somebody do that on the backs of my guys who do that for real on every third day," said Lt. Brad Payne with the Sweetwater Fire Department and Ambulance Service.
"I work with an amazing crew who do some absolutely amazing things. To see somebody make something up, especially who do that every day on scene, I can't have that. I'm not going to stand for that."
Army officials said any possible disciplinary action that could be faced by Troney has not yet been decided.