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Military ambassador honored for rescue during San Antonio river parade

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – One of Fiesta San Antonio’s Military Ambassadors is being praised for rescuing a woman who fell into the river during the Texas Cavaliers River Parade last week.

Air Force Tech Sgt. Ryan Fillweber and 9 other military ambassadors were waving to the crowd from a barge April 22 when he saw a woman fall into the river head first.

He didn’t hesitate to jump in.

“I knew she needed help and I just reacted,” said Fillweber.

He helped the woman get right-side up, and with the help of some bystanders, got her out of the water and back on the River Walk. After making sure she wasn’t injured, he jumped back on the barge and rejoined his fellow military ambassadors in the river parade.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commanding general for U.S. Army North, recognizes Tech Sgt. Ryan Fillweber during the Army Day at the Alamo celebration, which was held April 23, for his actions during the April 22 Texas Cavaliers River Parade. Fillweber, a military ambassador during the 2019 Fiesta San Antonio celebrations, which last from April 18 to April 28, jumped off his barge and into the San Antonio River to save a woman who had fallen head-first into the river and was unable to right herself. (U.S. Army North photo)

Fillweber was honored the following day by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commanding general for U.S. Army North. During Fiesta’s Army Day celebration at the Alamo, Buchanan presented Fillweber with a command coin.

“There’s only two requirements, really, to be a hero –courageous acts and a noble purpose. We have one here, so I’m going to recognize him with this coin,” said Buchanan.

Even though his actions helped save a life, Fillweber says he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

“I think it’s something any of my other ambassadors would have done,” said the San Diego native. “I just happened to be the one looking that way.”


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