An Air Force rookie is being credited for saving the life of another airman – but the rescue did not take place while on deployment; it took place on social media.
Senior Airman Charles Woomer from the Fairchild Office of Special Investigations in Washington was browsing the Air Force page on Reddit last Friday when he noticed something concerning.
Amidst the innocuous posts and discussions, there was a comment from another user who was asking how his life insurance policy would pay off for his family if “something” were to happen to him before he separated from the military.
Woomer, along with several other Reddit users, expressed their concern over the airman’s tone – except Woomer went one step further.
As a means of ensuring the anonymous airman’s safety, Woomer contacted employees at Google and Reddit to secure the user’s identity. Then, upon explaining the situation to his own supervisor, they made 25 different phone calls to get in touch with the office at which the Reddit commenter was stationed in Georgia.
Leaders of the base approached the airman and confirmed that he had indeed been planning on committing suicide by the end of the week. According to a statement released by the Fairchild Air Force Base, the airman had been diagnosed with depression in the past and was prescribed medication for his symptoms. His suicidal ideations returned, however, when his medication recently ran out.
The airman was then taken to a nearby medical facility for treatment. Had he succeeded in his plans, he would have left behind a wife and two children, ages 4 and 9.
When news of the incident spread to the Air Force page on Reddit, Woomer was praised for his actions.
“Good job man,” wrote one user. “You did a great thing. I hope you get some recognition for this, and most importantly I hope the airman receives the help he needs. Thank you from everyone who has had suicide (affect) them.”
Help Save A Life: Click To Share The Incredible News With Your Friends – Representational photo by Airman Manisha Vasquez / U.S. Air Force