News: Guardsman receives Medal of Valor for saving child’s life
MILBANK, S.D. - South Dakota Army National Guard Soldier Maj. Jason Kettwig received the South Dakota Medal of Valor June 15 for the act of heroism he displayed while saving a young child’s life.
Kettwig, of Milbank, was staying at a hotel with his family in Marshall, Minn., Oct. 28, 2011, when the event occurred. Kettwig and his family were relaxing next to the hotel pool when he heard a scream. He saw a mother diving into the pool to get her daughter, who was unconscious.
Kettwig assisted the mother in pulling her daughter out of the pool and upon noticing the girl had no pulse and had turned blue, he immediately began CPR. The girl started gasping for air after two-to-three minutes of compressions.
Kettwig, who serves with the 139th Brigade Support Battalion, of Brookings, said he credits the combat lifesaver training he received through the military and his local community for his ability to react to the situation immediately.
Kettwig stated that this is a reminder of how important it is for all parents and grandparents to learn CPR, and that the potential for something like this to happen is present every day.
The South Dakota Medal of Valor is awarded to any individual who, while a member of the South Dakota National Guard, distinguishes themselves by heroism, not involving actual conflict with an armed enemy, while in the Armed Forces of the United States. It is awarded for heroism while performing normal civilian functions and/or duties while a member of the South Dakota National Guard.