It was Jan 8 a cold windy day was turning into a dangerous night and against the wishes of many I made my journey from NYC back to Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri. It was a trip that I had made many times but on this occasion the snows were dark and deep and the winds made it seem like God was telling me to stop as my wipers struggled to keep the snow off my windshield. As I got to Ohio I figured the worse was behind me as I headed to hwy 70. but my night was just beginning. As I continued, I noticed how abandoned the roads seemed. It appeared that I was the only one on the road. In the distance though about a mile ahead, I saw head lights coming east as I was heading west. The car veered to the right. I assumed that it had found an off ramp and was heading home . As I continued to drive I noticed that a few autos were slowing down and driving off. I remember thinking that maybe someone hit an animal. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that there was a red glow. I continued to drive all the time thinking why were people slowing down. Then It occurred to me. I turned around, cut through the divider and headed back east
I stopped my car were the red lights were and got out. About 50 feet down a steep embankment was a car at about a 30 degree angle slammed into a tree.
Life reveals your character. Events bring out who you are. I remember in the Gulf war a soldier who “couldn’t wait ” to kill and when the event started he locked himself in a vehicle and wouldn’t come out. We had to leave him behind. I didn’t know who or what was in the car but I was compelled to do something. Because of the weather I was prepared if I was stuck. But now I had to figure in 0 wind chill weather how to get down this hill.
I took out the rope that was in my car and tied it to my car..and proceeded to go down the hill with my medical kit. What I found was a woman bleeding, still conscious and her 6 yr old son in a secure car seat. She was also pregnant. One thing that you learn first in any medical training is that after you check for breathing, you check for bleeding and this woman was bleeding badly. I pushed the car off its angle. Smashed a window with a rock and entered
I had many things running through my mind. It was 1:13 am and it was dangerously cold. Her son being 6 was crying. I looked at him and asked ” What is your name.? “Mike” he said ” Well Mike do you want to play a game”?. “I am going to start to sing a song and I want you to follow along”
The only song that I could think of was Frank Sinatra singing “High Hopes”. So I started singing “Just what makes that little old ant, think he’ll move that rubber tree plant. To my surprise he started to sing. At the same time I was singing I was attending to his mom. THE tourniquet that I had applied to her arm seemed to slow down the bleeding. The cold was also helping and hurting me us both. Little did I know at the time because I had slipped going down that I had broken my wrist
Suddenly she cried out in pain. ” My baby”
Right then I knew that this was going to be a night unlike any other. “My water broke” she cried out. “How long” I asked . “8 months and I think she’s coming now.
Now the only time I had ever seen a child born was on the Discovery Channel. But because of the extreme cold I knew that I had to get help and keep them warm. One of the things that you learn in SERE Training is to be creative and to survive. Unable to get a cell signal, knowing that I needed to get help and flag someone down, I took her son and carried him up to my car. I took all my papers and my clothes and bundled them together with some wood and set them on fire and climbed back down. Hoping that someone would see the car’s blinking lights and the fire and stop…. I proceeded to climb back down, and prayed that someone would come. Otherwise all of us might be dead in the morning.
Now two lives needed my help. I was able to lay her down in the car. Thank God it didn’t have bucket seats.
Suddenly I heard a voice yelling. A man had stopped because he had seen the fire and the flashing light.
I yelled to him “Call a ambulance this woman is injured and is having a baby “ Minutes seemed like hr’s. I was worried that I could lose them both. At 3.17 am in the morning the baby was coming. On the outside I was calm and I had to keep her calm. On the inside I was scared and my heart was beating 100 mph. I started to see the head. At that same time I was tapped on the shoulder. It was the EMS. “We will take it from here” she said “Go up and get warm” another said . I climbed to the top and now could see about 3 police cars on their way.
I sat in My car and got warm . I heard someone say “its a Girl and they will all be ok. Because I being deployed something compelled me to go and I got in my car and drove off. Six months later I received a call from the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon. It had appeared that I had saved the life of an US Congressman’s wife and they had looked for me. I was to come to the Pentagon to receive a medal and be honored. I was asked ‘ Why did I stop when so many others kept going and why didn’t I give my name” My answer was simply
“We all make choices Then our choices make us .. it was the right thing to do’
At the end when the Congressman’s father came up to thank me for saving his family
I said ” No need” “Just tell them I said thank you because little did they know… they saved my life also”