July 12, 2016
Two men helped a stranger off the ledge and saved his life. What Bonilla and Hinson did not know at the time, is they had just saved the life of a fellow soldier.ELTON - On June 5th a man balanced on a wall 60 feet in the air. The ledge was maybe a foot wide, and it was part of the Lake Belton scenic overlook near the dam. Many people passed him but paid no attention. Was he a thrill seeker? Maybe. But a closer look would show the man teetering on the edge was about to take his own life.
Many people were there that day. They were at the right spot at the right time to intervene with a suicide. But only two people would really look and see a man who needed help.
“He wasn’t talkative. He was by himself and I knew something was wrong,” said Specialist Victor Bonilla, a Fort Hood soldier with the First Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade.
Bonilla and his roommate, Private First Class Ruslan Hinson, were bored that day. They decided to leave the barracks and explore Lake Belton. That decision would forever change their lives and the life of a complete stranger.
It wasn’t until they were leaving the scenic overlook that they saw the man standing on the ledge. “He was crying. He was emotional and upset,” said Hinson. “We just reacted. We didn’t even have time to think.”
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