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    Marine Raider Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Valor

    Marine Raider Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Valor

    Photo By Sgt. Brennan Priest | A Marine Raider is awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal during a ceremony at Camp...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Jesula Jeanlouis 

    Marine Forces, Special Operations Command

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – A Marine Raider is awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroic actions during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune, Jan. 18, 2022.

    The Marine Raider, at the time assigned to the Marine Raider Regiment, and his wife were sitting on Surf City Beach, when two women approached, frantically screaming for help. The events that ensued displayed the Marine’s courage in going above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of a drowning child and his father.

    One of the women stated that her son was drowning and pointed to the ocean, where two noticeably distressed swimmers, one being her child and the other being the father of her son, were struggling to stay afloat in a significant rip current.

    Having lived near this beach for several years and through his training, the Marine Raider understood the grave danger of the rip currents, but also recognized that the victims would not be able to sustain themselves much longer. Without hesitation, and at the risk of his own safety, he sprinted into the surf and began swimming towards the young boy and adult male.

    He first reached the young boy who was crying for help and struggling to stay afloat, and grabbed him under his arms, reassuring him that he was going to be okay. Using his remaining arm and his legs, he kept the boy's head above water as he swam parallel to the shore. He continued to swim this way, fighting to break free from the rip current that was pushing them deeper into the ocean. Once he was able to clear the dangerous currents with the boy, he swam to the shore and reunited the boy and his distraught mother. Although the Marine Raider was fatigued and now fully aware of the intensity of the current, he immediately turned around and dove back into the waves to rescue the second victim, an adult male who had now drifted significantly far from the shoreline.

    The Marine Raider was quoted as saying, “I know that any other Raider would have done the same thing if they were in my shoes.”

    As he approached the man, he could see that the victim was bobbing below the water. He verbally reassured him, encouraging him to remain calm as he closed the gap between them. The adult male was now completely exhausted and panicked, struggling to keep his head above water. Just as the Marine Raider reached him, the man began to sink, completely overcome by the rip current. The Marine swam under the water and grabbed the man, returning to the surface while holding the panicked man. Even as a line of crashing waves further complicated his rescue efforts, he swam parallel to the shore to break free of the rip current. Though fighting exhaustion himself, he never let go of the man and continued to swim towards safety. When he was finally able to escape the current, he dragged the now limp man toward the shore. Upon reaching waist deep water, he repositioned himself behind the man and pulled him the rest of the way to the beach. Once ashore, the Marine checked to make sure the man was breathing and did not sustain any other injuries before sitting in the sand, completely overcome with exhaustion himself. The now reunited family thanked him for saving their lives. The adult male stated that he believed he and his son would have died in the water without his intervention. The Marine Raider knowingly placed himself in harm's way and risked his own life to rescue a family in distress.

    For the lifesaving actions that occurred, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. The award signified that the awardee risked their own life during the course of an event and distinguished themselves in a non-combat environment.

    “The satisfaction for me was pretty immediate,” said the Marine Raider. “Once that family was reunited on the shoreline, them embracing and crying in the sand was pretty powerful. Then, turning over to me and thanking me for that, that was all the recognition I needed at that point.”

    His calm demeanor, decisive actions, and bravery in the face of life-threatening danger demonstrated the highest degree of selflessness and directly resulted in the survival of two civilians who otherwise would have perished.



    Date Taken: 01.18.2022
    Date Posted: 02.07.2022 16:53
    Story ID: 414205
    Location: CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US

    Web Views: 4,314
    Downloads: 3