A veteran is receiving the Certificate of Merit award from the American Red Cross for saving a fellow veteran’s life.
Johnathan Upton has been certified by the Red Cross to perform CPR for two and a half years.
“You never think you’re going to have to use it until you do,” Upton told WLTX. “I think it just happens. It’s something that I encourage my kids and my neighbors’ kids and even their family members to go out and try it out.”
On Veteran’s Day last year, Upton went to Golden Corral with the Fort Jackson Youth Group as part of the Red Cross.
While Upton was walking, he noticed a veteran in a wheelchair choking.
“I look over to my right while I was walking around and I saw a veteran in a wheelchair with a family member and the family member was reaching across the table,” said Upton. “I walked over there and noticed that he was choking.”
After Upton received permission to help the veteran, he used his training in CPR to help save the veteran’s life.
The American Red Cross surprised Upton Tuesday with the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit in recognition of his actions last year.
The award is bestowed upon an “individual who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course.”
According to the American Red Cross website, those eligible for the Certificate of Merit are Red Cross-trained individuals or off-duty first responders and the President of the United States signs the award.