“The United States Army Reserve produces Soldiers that are trained and ready.
I was taught from day one on how to perform life saving measures, my actions to take the next step is second nature… My experience with managing stress is critical to doing the next right thing.”
Sgt 1st Class Kenneth M. Holman
Trained and Ready: Soldiers Helps Saves Child’s Life
Basic training teaches Soldiers “Basic Soldiering Skills.” It is stressful, you are pushed and pushed and then pushed some more, so that you learn how to handle yourself under pressure. You learn how to march, shoot your weapon, how to camouflage themselves from the enemy to name a few, however one of the most important skill a Solider learns is first aid, how to take care of themselves and their buddy if the need arises. Soldiers learn the signs of heat inquiry, how to stop the bleeding, how to treat for shock, and they learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or as most know it, CPR.
Another skill learned is “Attention to Detail,” dress-right-dress is the term used to ensure even the smallest detail is correct. Positioning your shoes under your bed so that all the toes are even, and in my day, your boots had to be shined so they looked like glass. Your clothes evenly spaced in your locker, your tee shirts and socks each rolled to the exact same size. Your nameplate and ribbons aligned just right, those little lines between the ½-inch and ¼-inch on the ruler now matters and just 1/16 of an inch off can get you a gig (also known as a demerit) and a few extra pushups.
Why, to prepare Soldiers for combat, though some Soldiers may never see combat, the training benefits us in everyday life.
So it was on August 1, 2010, when Sgt 1st Class Kenneth M. Holman attention to detail and quick action in a stressful situation help save a toddler’s life.
“I noticed that the toddler was not getting the air. I reached over and pried her mouth open with my right index finger. I started to finger sweep her mouth and pulled out about a cup of food.”
Sgt 1st Class Holman receive an Army Commendation Medal from the Army Reserve Careers Division, the city of Morrow, Georgia, issued a proclamation honoring his heroism, as well as the city’s Police Department awarding him a “Certificate Of Commendation” for his actions 1 August which help saved the toddler life. The awards stated that, “…this NCO represents what is best with military service members being in the communities near their duty stations…”
He has served in has served in the military since 1998 and has deployed to Iraq. He is currently assigned to the 10th Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division as an Army Reserve Career Counselor.
Holman shares his story of the event…
“I had just finished PT, physical training, and was supervising my three children who where swimming in the hotel’s pool where we were staying.
“The pool is an indoor-outdoor pool and my children were playing with another family, two sisters, and their five children. Three of the children were less the two and there was a 10 and 13 year old.
My children had been playing outside and had befriended the 13 year old. I joined them in the water and we were talking when I heard a commotion on the inside and I swam under the wall to see what was going on. When I came out of the water, I saw a crowd of people near the edge of the pool circling a baby that was blue from drowning. I pointed to a pregnant by-stander and told her to, “Dial 911.”
By the time I swam over to the edge of the pool, the aunt had given a few compressions and two breaths of air to the toddler. I stayed in the water at the edge of the pool right next to the lifeless toddler. She then picked the toddler up and padded her on the back. The aunt set her down and gave a few more compressions and two more breaths.
I noticed that the toddler was not getting the air. I reached over and pried her mouth open with my right index finger. I started to finger sweep her mouth and pulled out about a cup of food. I can only imagine that when the toddler drowned she was intensely clenching her mouth because it was rather hard to pry her mouth open. I thought I cut my finger on her teeth, but I did not. The aunt gave a few more compressions and I noticed that life was coming back to the toddler. I told the distressed crowd, “She’s going to be ok.” The mother was screaming and still on the phone telling the person what was going on. The aunt had then picked up the toddle and held her close. The toddler started to cry, Halleluiah.
I lead my children upstairs as not to add to the confession and later came back down stairs to check on things and the fire department was their checking on the toddler. I thanked God that the child was still alive.”
Sgt 1st Class Kenneth M. Holman