CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar – Two military police officers tasked with protecting vulnerable Afghan travelers did more than rescue an unresponsive 16-month-old Afghan in November.
For their actions, Spc. Samantha Gallardo and Spc. Shawn Miller of the 293rd Military Police Company based in Fort Stewart, Ga., Which is deployed here in support of the Afghan Evacuation Mission Support Element, was awarded the Army Achievement Medal at a ceremony held on Jan. 1.
November 17th was another typical day at Camp As Sayliyah, where the two of them are part of the daily routine of providing security and interacting with Afghan guests. That changed when they heard of an emergency. An Afghan mother and father tried to wake their child, but the child did not respond and was not breathing.
“Another soldier told us there was a mother in need,” said Miller of Chesapeake, Virginia. “When we have [to the scene], there was a mother who held her child because it wasn’t breathing. “
The soldiers immediately knew what to do. When Gallardo, of Fresno, Calif., Took off his mother’s child and placed it on a table while he rubbed his back and sternum to see if he was choking or having a seizure, Miler called for medical help over the radio.
Although these are MPs whose main job is to protect Afghan guests, this is not the first time the soldiers have had to provide medical assistance. As she assessed the situation and examined the child, Gallardo also had to keep the parents and himself calm.
“The adrenaline is definitely kicking in,” she said. “It hits you pretty hard, but it keeps you calm. So I did the job and at the same time told my mother to keep calm and that everything would be fine. “
Because of her training and experience, Gallardo decided to swipe a finger.
“I put my finger in his mouth and made a swing,” said Gallardo. “That’s when he started crying.”
Medical staff arrived shortly afterwards and took the family to the clinic to further examine the child. The family has since left Camp As Sayliyah to immigrate to the United States.
Miller and Gallardo credit their education for helping them that day.
“At home, our training includes first aid because law enforcement agencies are constantly changing,” Miller said. “We are trained in a variety of tasks. These are the tasks we hope we never have to do, but they allow us to help before medical personnel arrive. “
The soldiers said the incident was particularly significant as it affected those they were assigned to help.
“It’s a rewarding experience because no matter where they’re from or where they’re going, we can support and help our guests while they are here in our care,” said Miller.
For Gallardo, saving a child also has a personal meaning.
“I’m married. I want children one day, so it is a great relief to be able to help other families,” she said. “Besides, I enjoy doing it – humanitarian work. It’s humiliating.”
|Release Date:||08/01/2022 2:49 AM|
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