By Amanda Thomason  February 12, 2022 at 11:38am

You never know when lifesaving training will come in handy. For one man, it was during a workout at EōS Fitness in Temecula, California, that duty called.

Navy Counselor 1st Class Ryan P. Lighten was in the zone when someone alerted him to an emergency taking place nearby.

“I was working out on the bench press with my earbuds in, when one of my Future Sailors ran up to me with a scared look on his face, yelling franticly,” Lighten told the Navy Talent Acquisition Group Southwest.

“He told me there was a man lying on the floor [who was] unresponsive and not breathing.”

As the 29-year-old headed over, he experienced a flicker of doubt — but he had received all the training he needed thanks to the Navy.

“My first thought was, ‘I hope I can remember my training,’” Lighten said. “Future Sailor Dominic Rodgers cleared a path for me, telling everyone in the vicinity that I knew CPR.

“Rodgers told me later that he knew the Navy provided CPR training to all of its personnel, which was why he ran straight to me.”

Before starting, Lighten told people to clear the area and directed them to call 911.

He performed CPR for 15 minutes, and the man began breathing on his own. First responders arrived and took the patient to Temecula Valley Hospital.

“The guy never really saw who had helped him,” Lighten later said. “I hope I get the opportunity to formally introduce myself to him in the future.

“I would like to wish the gentleman I assisted a speedy recovery and healthy future.”

Lighten says he’s indebted to the Navy, not just for the training that saved this stranger’s life but for the opportunity to better himself and create a future for himself and his family.

“The Navy has given me a brighter outlook on my life and a more promising future for my son,” he said.

As a result, Lighten hopes to help many others find their purpose through the military branch.

“I frequently volunteer at the local high schools, animal hospitals and retirement homes with the purpose of giving back to my community and spreading Navy awareness,” he said. “The Navy has helped me by putting me in a position to grow as a leader.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking


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