Yesterday, I saw this:
Mother Jones has the complete story. Those fellows in fatigues were volunteers from The Tough Ruck, a fundraising activity for The Military Friends Foundation. Founded in 2003, The Military Friends Foundation supports Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve families who have faced hardships related to active service.
So at 5:00 am, the Tough Ruck group left the Boston Marathon starting line, lead by Lieutenant Stephen Fiola of the 1060th Transportation Company. One of the Tough Ruckers was marching in honor of Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in died in action in Iraq in 2004.
(click to embiggen -- from Militiary Friends Foundation)
The elite female runners started at 9:33 am, and were expected to finish around noon. The elite male runners started at 10:00 am, and were expected to finish around 12:15.
The fastest of Tough Ruck group crossed the finish line sometime after 11 am. The pre-arranged plan was for the Ruckers to wait for all to finish near the medical tent at the finish line. Lance Cpl. Arredondo's father, Carlos Arredondo, joined the Rucker group at their meeting place.
The bombs went off at approximately 2:50 pm.
"I did a count and told the younger soldiers to stay put," Fiola says. "Myself and two other soldiers, my top two guys in my normal unit, crossed the street about 100 yards to the metal scaffoldings holding up the row of flags. We just absolutely annihilated the fence and pulled it back so we could see the victims underneath. The doctors and nurses from the medical tent were on the scene in under a minute. We were pulling burning debris off of people so that the medical personnel could get to them and begin triage."
(Click to embiggen. Image credit: Charles Krupa / AP)
Arredondo jumped into action as well, going to the aid of a grievously injured man, supplying material for tourniquets for the man's mangled legs and assisting safety personnel in transporting the man to an ambulance. The injured man was later identified as Jeff Bauman Jr. in an Associated Press report. He was waiting at the finish line for his girlfriend, a competitor in the race.
(Click to embiggen. Image credit: Darren McCollester / Getty Images)
Arredondo was photographed as he left the blast area. The flag, given to him by Lt. Fiola, was soaked in blood.
He was interviewed yesterday by The Washington Post. “I did my duty,” Arredondo said the next morning.
When his son was killed in 2005, Arredondo reacted very differently. Overcome with rage and grief, he set himself on fire.
Now, there's this. Dave Smith writes,
I served with Carlos' son Alex in Najaf, Iraq where he was shot and killed by an enemy sniper while checking on the safety of his team. He received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Carlos' other son Brian committed suicide just before Christmas last year. He is no stranger to tragedy. But he IS an exemplary citizen.
Dave Smith is asking for our signatures to a petition to the White House, Award Carlos Arredondo the Presidential Citizens Medal for exemplary deeds at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
On April 15, 2013 an improvised explosive device attack was made on the Boston Marathon causing deaths and injuring over one hundred specatators. Peace activist Carlos Arredondo, the father of a Marine killed by a sniper in Iraq in 2004, was present supporting a runner who was racing in honor of his son who died for this country. When the attacks occured, Mr. Arredondo rushed to the scene with no concern for personal safety to help responders gain access to the victims to render aid to the injured. Once there he used his own clothing to stem blood loss, with his own bare hands applying pressure to the wounds of gravely injured citizens, and soothing words in their time of need, clearly meeting the required "exemplary deeds or services" for his fellow citizens.
Please sign. I have.