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Airmen save lives, named local heroes

Published: 12:25PM November 1st, 2012
Airmen save lives, named local heroes  RCCCross

Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle

Chief Master Sgt. Arthur Green (left), 36th Aerial Port Squadron superintendent, Andy Wappler (center) vice president of Corporate Affairs, Puget Sound Energy in Tacoma, and Senior Airman Andrew Moser, 36th Aerial Port Squadron Air Transportation specialist at the Red Cross 2012 Heroes' Breakfast, Oct. 24.

TACOMA — Senior Airman Andrew Moser and Airman 1st Class Micah Myers never expected to end up saving a Lakewood citizen’s life, much less did they anticipate praise for it.

“We did what needed to be done,” Myers said. “I didn’t expect anything more than a pat on the back from our supervisor or something.”

However, the 36th Aerial Port Squadron Reservists would receive a pat on the back in the form of a Good Samaritan Award at the American Red Cross, Rainier Chapter, 2012 Heroes’ Breakfast of Pierce County at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Oct. 24.

The Citizen Airmen earned the award for putting their first aid training into action by rescuing a man, who suffered from a seizure and head trauma on a Bridgeport Way sidewalk in Lakewood, June 2.

The two Airmen were driving home after finishing their military duties that Saturday in June, when they saw the man seize up and fall to the ground. They made a U-turn and proceeded to assist the man.

Andy Wappler, Puget Sound Energy vice president of Corporate Affairs, presented the awards.

“The actions of Moser and Myers showed not only the value of their Air Force training, but who they are as individuals,” Wappler said. “They are the kind of people all of us in Pierce County can take pride in calling our neighbors.”

Moser and his wife Hollie, who is nine months pregnant with their son, made the 80-mile drive to Tacoma from their Arlington, Wash. home to make the event by 6:30 a.m.

Moser said he had no qualms about putting on his service dress and making the crack-of-dawn drive to be acknowledged in the same company as other heroes.

“Being recognized by an organization like the Red Cross is absolutely amazing,” he said. “But I won’t ever have second thoughts about caring for, or providing aid to someone in need.”

Other heroes at the breakfast ranged from Washington park rangers and Tacoma firefighters to a domestic K-9.

“I have a ton of respect for the Red Cross and what they do,” Myers said. “It was very encouraging to get a reward from them. It was comforting to know things like this don’t go unnoticed in the community. But, who wouldn’t help out someone who was hurt on the side of the road?”

“Instincts told me to stabilize his head, make sure he had a pulse, and was breathing,” said Moser, who received first aid training when he was on the ski patrol and again when in the military. “Then we treated him for shock and tried to keep him comfortable for when he regained consciousness.”

Although the gentleman wasn’t in attendance at the breakfast, Moser said he thanked him and Myers for letting them do their job.

“He allowed us to do what we’re trained to do,” Moser said. “We (the military) are here for the people who need help. Being able to save someone’s life and put ‘service before self’ is rewarding enough.”