Saturday, July 23, 2016

Marine "Flew in out of nowhere" to Save Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman

My brother’s keeper: ‘First Team’ Marine saves drowning sailor
Story by Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

“He flew in out of nowhere and put his life at risk by going into this rip current to swim us both to safety,” Duron said of Yakin. “Throughout his rescue, he reassured me and pulled us both out of the situation.”
Photo By Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo | Lance Cpl. Troy Yakin, landing support specialist, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment,
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.—Standing well above 6 foot tall, with a clean haircut, fresh shave and an air of confidence, Lance Cpl. Troy Yakin is what many would consider a typical Marine. But even the most typical of Marines have a thread of heroism woven within. Whether at home or on the battlefield, answering the call of duty is less of a cognitive thought than it is an instinct.

“Do I think I’m a hero? No,” Yakin said. “I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t think he was dying, I just thought I was helping somebody out.”

On the morning of June 29, 2016, Yakin, a landing support specialist with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and two Marines from his unit were visiting Del Mar Beach aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. In the days leading up to that morning, they had been conducting a joint inspection for 11th Marine Regiment. With their tasks completed earlier than expected, Yakin and his co-workers decided to go to the beach.

“When we were at the beach everybody was having a good time,” Yakin said. “People were surfing, body boarding, all that fun stuff. There was a swimmer who had wandered out too far so the life guard went to get him. It was around that time that someone started screaming for help.”

The person in need was Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Ralph Duron, senior enlisted leader, 21 Area Branch Clinic, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. Like his fellow beach-goers, Duron was enjoying his time in the ocean. The nearly 9-foot waves crashing above didn’t faze him until he was unexpectedly thrown from his board.

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