Wife of Top Military Officer Was the Hero on Veterans Day

Hollyanne Milley, wife of JCoS leader Mark Milley, saved veteran who collapsed at ceremony
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2020 1:46 PM CST
Wife of Top Military Officer Was the Hero on Veterans Day
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and his wife, Hollyanne Milley, are seen at left with other administration officials at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia on Sept. 30, 2019.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

As the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation's top military officer, Gen. Mark Milley is the one used to attracting attention at Veterans Day events. This year, however, his wife, Hollyanne, was the one who made headlines by saving a veteran's life during a ceremony commemorating the federal holiday, the Hill reports. Hollyanne Milley tells NBC News that she and her husband were at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, waiting for President Trump, Vice President Pence, and their spouses to arrive, when they suddenly heard something going on behind them. "I just saw legs laying there," Milley says. The practicing cardiac nurse rushed to the man on the ground, noticed he was breathing "in a very erratic way," and that he then stopped breathing altogether.

Milley says she couldn't find a pulse, and after telling others to call 911, she began CPR chest compressions. "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 says. The unidentified man, said by the Wall Street Journal to be a veteran in his 60s, was soon able to respond to Milley. Emergency responders took him to a nearby hospital, and he has since been discharged. Milley says she's spoken with him and that he's doing well. "Hollyanne's actions were representative of the hero medical professionals who are always there when we need them," her husband said in a statement. The nurse notes it's not the first time she's saved someone while off duty. "I went to an Army ball a few years ago and performed CPR in my ballgown," she tells NBC. (More uplifting news stories.)

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