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Nurse wife of the nation’s top military officer saved veteran who fainted at Veterans’ Day ceremony

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Nurse wife of the nation’s top military officer performs CPR on veteran who collapsed at Veterans’ Day ceremony in Arlington just moments before Trump’s arrival

  • Hollyanne Milley, wife of General Mark Milley, rushed to save the unresponsive veteran just before the president’s arrival 
  • Milley soon learned that the man had no pulse, and directed someone to call 911 while she started chest compressions
  • She got him to start breathing and answering her questions as first responders arrived to take him to a local hospital
  • Milley and the veteran spoke the following morning, and she said that he was doing very well
  • The veteran has since been discharged

By Matthew Wright For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

A veteran who collapsed during the Veteran Day ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday was saved by the nurse wife of the nation’s top military officer, General Mark Milley. 

Hollyanne Milley shared that she jumped into action to save the veteran just moments before President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their spouses arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

‘I just saw legs laying there,’ the practicing nurse explained to NBC News, describing how she immediately ran to assist the unresponsive man. 

Hollyanne Milley, wife of General Mark Milley, rushed to save the unresponsive veteran just before the president’s arrival 

‘When I first got there, he was breathing in a very erratic way that he wasn’t really taking air into his lungs as he should have been. And then he stopped breathing.’   

Milley soon learned that the man had no pulse, and directed someone to call 911 while she started chest compressions. 

Milley soon learned that the man had no pulse, and directed someone to call 911 while she started chest compressions, saving his life

‘I did about two cycles of CPR, and then he just took a big, deep breath and kind of groaned a little bit and then started moving around,’ she said.

Milley detected a pulse and was soon having the man respond to her questions.  

‘I put him in a side recovery position and just talked to him and told him what was going on and encouraged him to take deep breaths,’ the nurse explained.

First responders from Fort Myer Emergency Medical Services took the victim to a local hospital. 

Milley and the veteran spoke the following morning, and she said that he was doing very well. The veteran has since been discharged.  

‘He’s grateful that he will be here next year to again honor those who served,’ Milley said. ‘And he said because of a bystander who knew CPR that’s why he’ll be able to continue on honoring our veterans for hopefully many years to come.’ 

Milley wouldn’t take the sole credit for saving the man’s life, acknowledging that a physician from the VA and the Senior Enlisted Adviser to the Chairman also rushed to help the veteran. 

US First Lady Melania Trump and President Donal Trump arrive for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11

‘But I do think we were all in the right place at the right time,’ she said.

Gen. Milley honored his wife and all medical professionals in a statement to NBC.

 ‘Hollyanne’s 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,’ he said.

Milley has had to quickly jump into action when at other events, as well.

 ‘I went to an Army Ball a few years ago and performed CPR in my ball gown,’ she said. 

The Milleys meeting former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a memorial for Fort Hood victims in 2014

The nurse shared that her husband was the guest speaker for the event so they continued on with their evening once she performed the life-saving action. 

‘I’ve been a nurse for a long time, for 33 years,’ she said. ‘A lot of the way you respond is just muscle memory for medical professionals and you just take about a second to take everything in and then somebody’s life is depending on the actions of others.’

Milley is an advocate for others taking CPR classes. 

‘Bystander intervention can truly save lives,’ Milley said. ‘It really was an honor to help a veteran on Veterans Day.’

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