Tech. Sgt. Ken O’Brien is no stranger to heroic acts. In fact, he was flying back to the U.S. from Japan earlier this month to pick up the Outstanding Airman of the Year for his acts of heroism when he proved his mettle yet again by saving the life of a 1-year-old baby who was choking.
As head of Air Force Special Operations Command Lt. Gen. Jim Slife revealed in a Facebook post, he “can’t decide if he’s Superman or Mayhem (the guy on the insurance commercials)” after witnessing O’Brien’s acts not only in the line of duty but while on the flight back from Okinawa to Dallas to accept his award.
“On his flight back to the states from Okinawa last weekend for the AFA Convention to be recognized, an infant starts choking and stops breathing. Our man OB leaps into action, clears the breathing passage, resuscitates the kid, hands him back to the parents, and then goes on about his business,” Slife wrote.
“Sheesh! I don’t know whether I want to be right next to him in case some bad stuff goes down, or whether I want to be as far away from him as possible because bad stuff always seems to go down around him.”
O’Brien, who served as part of Donald Trump’s security detail during his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier his year, was one of only 12 people to ever receive the prestigious award. He was said to have played an “instrumental role” in saving the lives of children trapped in caves in Thailand in 2018. He also pulled someone from a burning car in South Korea, saving their life.
“If someone needs to go do something dangerous, I volunteer,” O’Brien has said of his heroic acts. “If someone needs a leader, I volunteer. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and that’s what helped me stand out because I sought out key positions or responsibilities.”
O’Brien, who serves in the Air Force, said he had no plans to leave his military career behind anytime soon.
“I want to keep doing this as long as I can or as long as my body can handle it. Hopefully I can continue to do the big missions like this and continue to help people,” he said.