One of the many events that took place at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day was the swearing in ceremony for the incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley. He was being sworn in by the outgoing Chairman, Marine General, Dunford when a veteran in the crowd observing the ceremony had an apparent medical emergency. That’s when the usual precision of such ceremonies went awry.
According to The Hill news outlet, all of this took place before the arrival of President Trump and the First Lady arrived for the laying of the wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
At a point during the ceremony, General Milley’s wife, Hollyanne, became aware of a problem and went into action. You see, she is a practicing nurse. Like all who are involved in the practices of medicine, she responded to this medical emergency without hesitation. She went into action.
When Milley got to the man she could see that he was not breathing correctly and was unresponsive. She began CPR.
Milley said that she went through two cycles of CPR when she finally was able to get a pulse. She said the man took a deep breath and moaned a little. As he began to be aware of his surroundings, Milley calmly explained to him what was happening. She then rolled him into the side recovery position and kept him calm, telling him to take deep breaths.
Because of Milley’s swift and expert action in taking control of the situation, the man survived what could have been a fatal collapse. The veteran, who chose to remain anonymous, has since been discharged from an area hospital.
Milley said she had been helped in the life saving event by a bystander who also knew the CPR procedure. She said she spoke to the man whose life they saved a few days later.
“He’s grateful that he will be here next year to again honor those who served,” she said.
General Milley said of his wife, “Her actions were representative of the hero medical professionals who are always there when we need them. She represents the strength and service of our military families.”
Clearly, this usually well-ordered ceremony, full of the usual military “pomp and circumstance” took a very unusual turn. It is just anther example of the quality of individuals that are common to both our medical professions and our military and military families. At the core of their being is the “DNA” for service to others. Hollyanne Milley’s actions on behalf of that veteran on Veterans Day is consistent with both the military and the medical commitment to others.
The Veterans Site sends its deepest respect and thanks to Mrs. Hollyanne Milley. Thank you for showing us the true character of those who serve in our medical professions and in our military.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.