Holloman Airman saves veteran’s life off base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adrian Salazar
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Oscar Vega, 746th Test Squadron superintendent, and Master Sgt. Jackie Wolfe, 49th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron flight chief, were out shopping at Walmart in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on April 18, 2021, when tragedy nearly struck.


“We were walking from the back of the store towards the cash register when my wife said ‘somebody just fell straight back,’” said Vega. “I gave (Wolfe) our son and I went to see if everything was ok. When I got there and I saw the blood around his head—I definitely felt worried. His face was starting to become purple and so I just jumped in to help.”


Acting quickly, Vega began chest compressions on the incapacitated Marine veteran and continued his efforts for 15 minutes.


“I had his wife tilt his head while I gave him the compressions, all I could think of was, ‘Come on give me something, just breathe,’” said Vega.


Wolfe tagged out Vega and began chest compressions for a few minutes before Emergency Medical Services arrived and took over. When they arrived, the Marine veteran was breathing and had a faint heartbeat before he was taken to the hospital.


“I don’t see it as an accomplishment, I see it as something I needed to do,” said Vega.


Protecting the country and its people doesn’t just apply downrange, Airmen are trained in first-aid and have the responsibility to help those around them.


“I told my wife how surprised I was that no one else stopped to help besides us and another woman on the phone with the 911 operator,” said Vega. “I would hope that if someone sees someone hurt that they at least stop and ask if everything is ok.”


Vega received an achievement medal for his heroic actions and excellent display of what it means to be a citizen Airman.