Tennessee Congressman Jumps Into Action To Save Choking Veteran


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A Tennessee lawmaker was in the right place at the right time when he saw a man choking and went to work saving his life.

Rep. Tim Burchett, who represents the 2nd Congressional District in East Tennessee, was at the annual veterans appreciation lunch at CEMEX in Knoxville last week when he noticed a man coughing and choking, FOX 17 reports. He jumped into action, using the Heimlich Maneuver to rescue the man, veteran Bobby Barnes.

"I couldn't breathe," Barnes recalled of the scary moment. "I was trying to get someone's attention and Tim saw that I was choking and he come around and did the Heimlich Maneuver on me. I just thanked him and told him, 'you saved my life!'"

Burchett told the news outlet that it was the least he could do to help out someone who served in the military, especially as both of his parents fought in World War II.

"Some people are calling me a hero ... I don't know about that," said Burchett. "I've never actually served my country in the military or anything like Bobby did."

Burchett has never performed the Heimlich Maneuver, but he remembered learning about it from an American Red Cross card his father carried around when he was a child.

"It was just one of those things, God put me in the right place at the right time and Bobby's alive to tell about it and I live a very charmed life because of those people that went over and fought for our country," said Burchett. "So I feel like my parents would be very happy right now that I looked after a veteran."


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