From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
FORMER MODERATOR'S SON MIRACULOUSLY RESCUED
05 May 1996 12:54:52
95093 FORMER MODERATOR'S SON MIRACULOUSLY RESCUED
by Knight-Ridder News Service
FORT BENNING, Ga.--It was a long, sweet embrace in which the Rev. Joan
SalmonCampbell wrapped her soldier son.
Several seconds passed before she stepped back and held her son's face
in both her hands. There he was: Lt. Paul J. Salmon, 24, West Point class
of '94, now an Army Ranger. Alive, in one blessed piece.
Both knew it was almost otherwise. Nine days had passed since the
ordeal of Army Ranger trainees in the Florida swamp, nine days since he had
been hauled from the water, dripping and virtually lifeless.
But somehow they had revived him: buddies pounding on him with CPR,
doctors crowding over him in an emergency room. Four others had not been
It was only a miracle the dead did not number five and the toll did
not include Paul Salmon.
Salmon, along with family members who had driven for hours from their
home in East Cleveland, Ohio, to see for themselves that he was alive and
well, described the catastrophe.
Salmon had been working in the swamp with the other Ranger trainees
building rope bridges to help his men negotiate the water.
He indicated that he was immersed in water that was at times so deep
that he could not touch bottom. He was held up by a life vest he was
He said he "basically burned out." And the encounter with
unexpectedly deep and cold water was too much.
He doesn't remember exactly what happened. At one point he became
convinced that he was on solid ground, though he was not. "I kind of fell
asleep, and I woke up in the hospital with six doctors around my bed."
He said the last thing he remembers is being grabbed by a fellow
Ranger trainee, Capt. John D. Fickel, as he lost consciousness and slipped
into the water.
The Army said that Salmon had been stricken with hypothermia.
"I gotta give God all the grace for me coming back," he said.
(The Rev. Joan SalmonCampbell was moderator of the 201st General
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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