A man planning to join the Navy acted quickly to help save a 6-year-old boy from drowning at a Marriott in Mission Valley while waiting to enter the Navy Delayed Entry Program.
Chaney Bryant, 34, was staying at the hotel June 18 so he could complete his military processing and take the oath of enlistment the next morning. That evening as he was relaxing at the hotel pool he heard a frantic mother saying that her child was at the bottom of the pool and unresponsive.
The mother jumped in the pool trying to save her child, but she was unable to swim and started to panic even more.
Hearing the commotion and seeing what was happening, the Navy recruit reacted quickly, diving into the pool and helping the mother to the shallow end of the pool. He then swam to the boy and pulled him out of the water and started to perform CPR.
“I saw that he swallowed a lot of water, so I pushed on his stomach and he threw up some water,” Bryant said. “I then held his nose and gave him one big breath. He started to cough and breathe on his own. I stayed with him until the ambulance came.”
First responders arrived within minutes and took the boy to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released.
After the situation had calmed, Bryant said all he could think about was how grateful he was that the boy was alive.
“I felt fortunate to be there,” he said. “I was about to leave the pool and the closest people were on the second floor who were watching what was happening.”
The next morning when the Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Kyle Vernon, of the San Diego Military Entrance Processing Station, heard what happened she presented Bryant with a command coin during an impromptu recognition ceremony.
“This incident absolutely reflects the quality of applicants we have coming through (the program)…” Vernon said.
Bryant wasn’t looking for a thank you from anyone.
“I feel incredibly honored that she recognized me. I hadn’t been sworn in yet.” Bryant said. “She was a little emotional because she is a parent and can understand what happened. It was really a powerful thing to me that the commander recognized me.”
Bryant entered the Delayed Entry Program as a reservist one day after his heroics. He will pass through Navy Recruiting Station Mission Viejo, then leave for recruiting training Jan. 12.
After completing boot camp he will attend his technical school to become a cryptologic technician.
– from a news release by Navy.mil