One of the British soldiers commended for bravery during the Las Vegas massacre had broken off birthday celebrations to help the injured, it has emerged.
Trooper Stuart Finlay of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards turned 25 on Friday and was celebrating with fellow soldiers over the weekend, his father revealed.
But the much-anticipated Vegas getaway, taken while on leave from military training, was sickeningly derailed when a concert came under heavy gunfire on Sunday.
The father-of-one from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, left an evening meal near the Nevada strip to find a bloodbath - and darted towards danger with two other troops.
The trio, which also included 24-year-old Trooper Ross Woodward, remain under Army orders not to discuss the ordeal publicly, but Trooper Finlay's father Kev shared his son's account.
The 48-year-old utility worker told the Press Association:
With many emergency services pinned down by a relentless hail of bullets, the off-duty troops helped marshal people to safety until paramedics and police arrived.
The troops' actions that night won acclaim from the Prime Minister, who thanked them for their efforts earlier this week.
They had been training in California with the regiment, known as the Welsh Cavalry, in the weeks leading up to the attack.
Trooper Finlay, who rose into the army after joining the TA, left behind his infant daughter Amelie, just six months old, to take up the opportunity overseas.
He had been relishing the trip to Las Vegas, according to his father, but had been more reluctant to get into the birthday spirit.
The group are now expected to return to camp in California before flying back to the UK.
Referring to the emotional toll Sunday's mass shooting might have taken on his son, Mr Finlay said:
Initially the Chester-based father was filled with panic about his son's safety when he saw the worst shooting in modern US history unfold on television.