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Soldier saves toddler from drowning at Polynesian Cultural Center

                                Sgt. Anthony Tunstall.
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Sgt. Anthony Tunstall.

A U.S. Army Task Force Oceania soldier saved a toddler from drowning during cultural enrichment training at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Aug. 11, the Army said.

Sgt. Anthony Tunstall was with a team of soldiers visiting Tongans at the center when the boy, the son of an employee, was discovered in trouble in a lagoon. The cultural center was closed to the public that day, the Army said.

“The (center) escort pulled the seemingly lifeless body of the child from the Tongan lagoon, and Tunstall, who is a trained Emergency Medical Techinican-Basic responded to the scene and started providing first-aid and CPR to the child,” the Army said.

Tunstall was able to revive and stabilize the child until paramedics arrived, officials said.

“I’m just thankful that I was in the right place at the right time so that I could provide medical assistance,” Tunstall said in a release. “I’m grateful for all of the medical training that the Army has put into me. That training means that a young child can continue to experience life.”

Tunstall is attached to the 9th Mission Support Command at Fort Shafter Flats as a member of Task Force Oceania, which is intended to build relationships with island nations in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

The task force sends two-person teams to Oceania islands who work with the State Department and host-nation governments to facilitate exercises, conferences, humanitarian assistance and disaster response planning.

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