Selfless service in action: California Guard officer rescues stranger

U.S. Army Maj. Timothy Wobig routinely walks his 13 year old dog, Wilson, but on one particular morning he saw something out of the ordinary as he rounded the corner.

An elderly man appeared to be in trouble. As he walked unsteadily in Wobig’s direction, the stranger swayed and almost fell. Acting quickly, Wobig leaned in and caught the man. He then noticed a patch of glistening red on the man’s head. A deep laceration was bleeding on the back of his head.

“He almost fell into the street and off the sidewalk. I sat him down and did a brief assessment before calling for help,” said Wobig, a prior Marine and current California National Guard officer with nearly 20 years of military service. He knew the fresh head wound meant the man had fallen recently.

As he tried to communicate with the man of Asian descent, it became clear the man only knew a few English phrases. Wobig was able to determine the man’s name, age and address from his wallet. It seemed he was far from his home.

Wobig’s background made him the right person in the right place to help. His prior deployments to Afghanistan reminded him how to use common gestures to communicate without English. His years of military experience and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses assisted him to evaluate the injured man and provide helpful information when paramedics arrived.

“In this situation, I was very concerned with his head injury and extreme confusion,” he said.

Wobig called his wife Katie, luckily just a few houses away, to bring a blanket to comfort the nervous man. Using quiet voices and soothing gestures, they calmed his confusion and anxiety.
Katie was surprised when Wobig called her, but quickly understood when she walked out to them.

“Tim has such a genuine, caring heart and lives for moments like this. He would give the shirt off his back for anyone,” said Katie. His friendly character and tranquil demeanor assisted in the situation with the elderly man.

Once emergency services arrived, the man was cared for at a local medical facility nearby.

Wobig later learned from the responding police officer the stranger from out of town was visiting his son who lived in the area. Unfortunately, he suffered from dementia, and went for a walk alone resulting in the predicament where Wobig found him. The Wobigs were grateful to hear the man was now safe and reunited with his family.

The Wobigs, Nebraska natives, have lived in the neighborhood for over seven years. Their Midwest family values focus on “good morals, working hard and lending a helping hand whenever possible, because it builds good character, and may just save someone’s day,” explained Katie.

When not rescuing strangers, Wobig is the deputy commander of the Cal Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion, at Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, California.

“At work, we have a Human Capital Management policy with a focus on training, merited rewards and earned promotions. The result-motivated employees take care of the mission. I learned that Tim already had something like this already in place,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Adam Allen, R.R.B. Commander and Wobig’s commanding officer.

“He absolutely embodies selfless service, and it seems he is always looking for ways to help others. This attitude is very much a part of the recruiting and retention battalion, making and keeping good people within our organization,” said Allen.

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