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Four San Antonio Recruiting Battalion Soldiers recognized for separate lifesaving efforts

By Bart A. Keyes | San Antonio Recruiting Battalion Public Affairs | Aug. 16, 2012

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON — Four Soldiers from the San Antonio Recruiting Battalion were recognized for performed lifesaving efforts in their local communities during a ceremony at the Dodd Chapel on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston July 18.

Maj. Gen. David L. Mann, U.S. Army Recruiting Command commanding general, presented each Soldier with the Army Commendation Medal.

On Dec. 1, 2011, while using an ATM at a local bank, Sgt. 1st Class Jorge Arraiga noticed a lady who appeared to be having a seizure.

He rushed to her side and cleared her airway by placing an pen between her teeth. He also made sure she was stabilized and remained with the woman until an ambulance arrived.

When asked if he felt he was a hero, Arraiga's response was: "No, I saw someone in distress and I followed my training."

On July 12, 2012, Staff Sgt. Amy Goninan witnessed a woman slip and fall in a local pool and also the woman's foot was lodged in the filtration system of the pool.

Goninan found the woman was unresponsive, so she quickly instructed a passerby to grab her first aid kit and medical bag from her car, so she could start treatment of the fallen woman.

Goninan determined that the woman needed to be moved to a trauma hospital and when emergency medical services personnel arrived, they concurred with her diagnosis and transported the injured woman to the hospital.

"I was just doing what any Soldier would do ... helping someone in distress," Goninan said.

On June 11 2011, while traveling in a funeral procession, Staff Sgt. David Gonzalez saw that a vehicle hit one of the escort police officers. He immediately got out of his car and rushed to the officer's aid. After securing the scene, Gonzalez asked others to block traffic in both directions and had someone call 911.

Gonzalez provided basic lifesaving treatment to the injured officer and ensured he was stable until EMS arrived. The officer has since returned to full duty. After his recovery, he immediately contacted Gonzalez to thank him for saving his life.

While at a recreational gun range on Oct. 23, 2011, Sgt. 1st Class David A. Mendoza witnessed an individual get accidentally shot in the arm with a handgun. Mendoza came to the victim's aid and observed excessive bleeding, then took rapid actions that likely saved the man's life.

He removed the man's shirt and applied a tourniquet. Using his medical bag, Mendoza started treating the gunshot wound. He evaluated the individual's condition and determined he needed to be airlifted to the nearest trauma center.

"I did what I was trained to do and saw someone in distress," Mendoza said. "I just did what had to be done."