Virginia Defense Force Life Saving Medal presented at SMR

First Lt. (Va.) John Neiland, commander of the VDF’s Delta Company, 2nd Regiment presents the Virginia Defense Force Life Saving Medal to Spc. (Va.) Nathaniel R. Hollis Aug. 3, 2019, at the Virginia National Guard State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Virginia Defense Force photo courtesy 2nd Regiment, Virginia Defense Force)

RICHMOND, Va. — Spc. (Va.) Nathaniel R. Hollis received the Virginia Defense Force Life Saving Medal Aug. 3, 2019, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. First Lt. (Va.) John Neiland, commander of the VDF’s Delta Company, 2nd Regiment presented the award in recognition of the actions Hollis took during a fire in his neighborhood.

According to the award certificate, a 4-alarm fire significantly damaged and destroyed multiple residential buildings in the West Ocean View area of Norfolk, Virginia, and Hollis, a resident of the neighborhood, took actions that helped save lives and assist with the Fire Marshall investigation. Hollis went door to door to alert people inside, and three residents credit Hollis with their first notification of a fire and contributed to their timely evacuation. After alerting as many people as possible, Hollis captured photos that were later provided to Fire Marshall’s Office to assist with the investigation.

“We are incredibly proud of Spc. Hollis and the the swift and effective actions he took to help his neighbors reach safety the night of the fire,” said Brig. Gen. Justin P. Carlitti, Sr., commander of the VDF. “His calm response in a stressful situation and selfless service to his community set the example I think everyone in the VDF should try to follow.”

Hollis currently serves as a civil support security platoon member in Delta Company, and he was been a member of the VDF since since 2011. He works part time with the Portsmouth Police Department as a police explorer advisor and also as a graphic designer for multiple businesses.

According to VDF Regulation 600-8-22, the Life Saving Medal “is awarded for an action which saves the life of (a) person(s) who would have otherwise had died. Rapid and effective first aid or reduce from a physically dangerous situation that would have caused death meet the basic criteria for life saving.”