Brig. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, thanks German officer Capt. Stefan Huebner, German Army Liaison Staff, May 23 for his possible life-saving actions in Daleville recently. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)
Published: May 29, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 29, 2014) -- Soldiers are considered by many to be heroes for what they do defending the country, but it was a typical lunch that caused one Fort Rucker Soldier to be considered a hero to a local woman.
German officer Capt. Stefan Huebner, German Army Liaison Staff, was having lunch two weeks ago at a Daleville restaurant when he noticed the woman behind him was having a hard time breathing after taking a bite of food.
Something had blocked her airway, and that is when he stepped in to help the panicking woman.
“She was with a group of friends who were trying to help her, but they didn’t know what to do,” he said. “That’s when I just stood up and I gave her one or two firm slaps on the back to help dislodge what was in her throat, hoping I would clear her airway.”
But, unfortunately, it did not work.
“That is when I tried the Heimlich Maneuver a couple of times. At a certain point she wasn’t looking too happy, but after a few more tries she was able to (cough up) a pea or a bean, which was what was blocking her airway,” he said.
A few people called 911, and soon an ambulance arrived to make sure the victim was alright. After that, Huebner said he finished his lunch and went back to work.
“Before I left, I checked on her and apologized for slapping her back,” he said. “I asked if I had hurt her. She said I saved her life and just thanked me. I was just happy to help.”
Brig. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, gave one of his coins to Huebner in the general’s office May 23 as thanks for his instant action and for doing the right thing.
“What you did was outstanding. You did a really great thing,” said Lundy.
“I am flattered that the general wanted to recognize me today because I only did what anyone else would do,” said the German officer. “Fort Rucker is now my home. I hope to stay as long as possible because I love the area and the people. Working with the joint forces has been amazing.”
German Sgt. Maj. Mohamed Boouhloui was at lunch with Huebner when the incident occurred.
“It was great to see him immediately act to do the right thing. Everyday heroism like that is what makes the world a better place,” he said. “We all need to look after each other, and that’s what he did.
“You can choose to not get involved or you choose to follow your natural instinct, which is to help,” he continued. “It didn’t matter that he didn’t know her or that he is German. We are all of the human race and we need to look out for one another.”
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/126965/
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