FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Fort Drum solder was awarded the Meritorious Service medal Thursday for his quick actions on Father’s Day, actions which saved a baby’s life.
2nd Lt. Shawn Sutter with the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion was eating at a local restaurant when he heard the sound of someone choking.
Sutter said Thursday he “instinctively jumped up and ran to the direction where there was a group of individuals.”
In the middle of the group, two other Fort Drum soldiers, Captains Joseph and Susan Chiarella, and their three month old daughter Reagan, who was choking.
Sutter took the child, applied the Heimlich maneuver, and a few seconds later the child started breathing again.
“That’s when I kind of took the opportunity to turn around to mom to let her know that things were going to be okay,” Sutter said.
“Without him (Sutter) I honestly don’t think she would be here,” said Susan Chiarella. “Heroes save people and he saved her.”
“We’re really thankful for his training and how he came in and helped us in a time of need,” said Joseph Chiarella.
Sutter, who is father to a 10 month old and a three year old, credits his Army training for getting him through the emergency.
“You never expect it, you don’t ask for it, but when it happens it feels good you know you did something.”