Ft. Benning soldier honored for saving drowning children - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ft. Benning soldier honored for saving drowning children

Second Lieutenant James Lamoreaux and his wife. Second Lieutenant James Lamoreaux and his wife.

A Fort Benning soldier was recognized for his bravery not on the battlefield, but while strolling along the Riverwalk. Authorities say he sprung into action to save children from drowning in the Chattahoochee River. 

We interviewed Lamoreaux in March just days after the rescue, and he described how he immediately jumped in the water and swam towards the boys, helping them get out of the fast moving current and safely onto a rock above the water level.

"Once we got past a certain rock, there was nothing else beyond that, other than the steps which were about two hundred meters away. I swam towards them, and thankfully, by the grace of God, I was able to get him and hold onto the rock. The little boy, the nine-year-old, his name is Kevin, he was very worried about all the water that he swallowed. We laughed a little bit on the rock. There was nothing else to do so we talked. Laughed and told stories."

This ended differently than most that involves a drowning child. Second Lieutenant James Lamoreaux received an award and was recognized in a proclamation at city council on May 6 for his role in saving two boys who might have died if he wasn't at the right place at the right time. Lamoreaux says he remembers one thing clearly.

"Just how cold the water was. I remember jumping in and the cold water freezing my muscles up.  But honestly, I'm thankful that Kevin was saved, and that he's able to enjoy the childhood that I was able to enjoy."

Lamoreaux was joined by his wife and his parents at the proclamation session in Columbus City Council. He received the Citizen Valor Award for his heroic actions.

Lieutenant Lamoreaux says he's not used to being in the spotlight and he describes himself as a behind the scenes guy, but he thanks God that he was in the right place to help and says Columbus Fire and EMS deserves equal credit for rescuing him and the children from the rock after he pulled them from the waves.

RELATED: Ft Benning soldier saves drowning children from Whitewater rapids

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