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    Soldier and Good Samaritan

    Florida Army National Guard Soldier becomes Good Samaritan

    Photo By Sgt. Spencer Rhodes | Florida Army National Guard's Spc. Justin Smith, a radio communications security...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Spencer Rhodes 

    107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Tallahassee, Fla. – Unbeknownst to his command at the time, Spc. Justin Smith, a Radio Communications Security Repair Soldier with the Florida National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Assault Headquarters Battalion, helped save an elderly gentleman's life at his hotel Monday, May 11. It was only after the hotel manager where he and other Soldiers are staying included it in her report to an officer in the unit that anyone knew of his good deed.

    Smith was getting ready to head to the store after work when he stepped off the elevator in the lobby of his hotel and saw a gentleman lying down on the floor with his wife standing over him. Certified in CPR and first aid in the civilian world, Smith approached the man's wife and asked if they needed assistance once he realized what was happening.

    "I kneeled down next to him and asked her what happened. She said that he had just collapsed and was unresponsive. At this point, I saw that his mouth was partially open, and his tongue was lying in the back of his throat, so it was blocking his airway. I propped his head up so it would open up the airway and help him breathe. I didn't have to give him CPR thankfully, but since paramedics didn't arrive for about seven to eight minutes, there's a chance he could have suffocated," said Smith. "It makes me feel good just knowing that he was breathing again. When I approached, she didn't quite know what the problem was yet or what to do, so being able to help and stay with them until first responders came is rewarding."

    Smith's supervisor and noncommissioned officer at the food-bank mission, Staff Sgt. Gregory Brown, had never met him before working in Tallahassee, as they don't share the same home unit when off activation. In fact, most Soldiers have not met Spc. Smith as he transferred only six months ago from the Wyoming National Guard where he initially enlisted, due to family and a new job. Brown says that even in the short time they worked together, he made a strong impression.

    "I was really glad he was there at the right time, although I wasn't really surprised when I found out he had helped someone. In the short time that I had been working with Spc. Smith, I had come to know that that's just the type of Soldier he is," Said Brown.

    1-185th AHB First Sergeant for Smith's home unit in Jacksonville, Florida, 1st Sgt. Benjamin Lucas, says it's a testament to the type of quality Soldier representing the State of Florida and the Florida Army National Guard during this trying time.

    "I'm thrilled that he's representing the 185th AHB in that way. It's exciting that we have soldiers of that caliber out there, and that he reacted as quickly and calmly as he did. That he never mentioned it to anyone shows that nature of his selfless service in that moment," said Lucas.

    Smith, like thousands of other Soldiers in the FLNG, is currently activated in Tallahassee, Florida, working on food bank missions in support of the state's pandemic response to COVID-19.



    Date Taken: 05.21.2020
    Date Posted: 05.21.2020 15:45
    Story ID: 370539
    Location: TALLAHASSEE, FL, US 
    Hometown: DEAVER, WY, US

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