Phil Melcher may never know about the total impact he has made throughout the world, but he got a glimpse of it through a chance meeting in Columbia several years ago.

Melcher, an Army Green Beret, was serving in the South American country when he was woken up at 2 a.m. to deliver a baby. When he got to the mother, the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. With no hospitals or modern technology available, Melcher had to perform the high-risk delivery without any help.

“When I delivered the child he wasn’t breathing,” Melcher said. “I had to resuscitate the baby and start CPR. After 45 seconds of CPR, the baby started coughing and screaming and spitting in my face. I was more excited about getting baby spit on me than at any other time in my life.”

Eight years later, Melcher was coming out of a commissary when a young boy ran into him. The boy’s mother yelled at the boy in Spanish, “Phillip, what are you doing?”


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