Life Saving Actions by TXSG, TMB Officer, Meritorious Service Ribbon Awarded
2LT Tom Goff, TMB, TXSG, TXMF
2008/03/26

Maj. Roger Vertrees of the TMB receiving Meritorious Service Ribbon from Capt. Alec Ross Photo by 2LT Tom Goff
Maj. Roger Vertrees of the TMB receiving Meritorious Service Ribbon from Capt. Alec Ross
Photo by 2LT Tom Goff

Maj. Roger Vertrees has been awarded the Meritorious Service Ribbon by the Texas State Guard in award ceremonies conducted recently. The award was presented to Maj. Vertrees for his display of professional and heroic behavior on April 1, 2007 in response to a frantic call for medical help from his neighbor. He clearly set himself above his peers by taking action over and above what would normally be expected in a medical emergency. The award was presented to him by Capt. Alec Ross, the executive officer of the Galveston Company of the Texas Medical Brigade. Vertee is also a University of Texas Medical Branch Faculty Member.

At the request of a neighbor, Maj. Vertrees arrived to help his neighbor place an adult daughter in bed after the daughter suffered an epileptic seizure. When Vertrees noted that the woman was not responding to her diabetic medication, he also called 911 for emergency services. While waiting for emergency services to arrive, the woman’s heart stopped. Vertrees then started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but noticed that her airway was blocked. When no standard method of clearing the airway worked, he then sucked the contents blocking the airway and restored her breathing, thus saving the woman’s life. It was the act of risking his own health by aspirating the contents of the woman’s nasal passage that earned him the award.

Maj. Vertrees’ quick thinking and actions were well beyond what is normally expected of a medical responder. The woman’s mother, a registered nurse, was present during the event and credits Maj. Vertrees with saving her daughters life. The rescued woman is now doing well and is listed for a kidney transplant.