Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Some people will go to any lengths

Tongue in cheek, I suggest that some people will do anything to draw out their moment in the limelight. Coast Guard Petty Officer Dave Foreman yesterday received the Coast Guard Medal for heroism for his work a year ago, when he helped to rescue six survivors off the T/V Bow Mariner, a tanker ship, that exploded off the Virginia coast. The news isn't what he did a year ago, though.
But just after Petty Officer 1st Class David Stahl, who was assisting in the ceremony, handed the medal to Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, Stahl fell to the ground unconscious.

Foreman, who was shaking hands with the admiral, turned and immediately went into action, ripping off his coat and moving Stahl behind the stage.

Foreman then ran to a rescue helicopter on display in the hangar, grabbed a medical bag from inside and returned to aid Stahl.

Meanwhile, the ceremony resumed for the 15 other Coast Guard personnel being honored for their role in the rescue.

Within 30 minutes, after Stahl recovered, Foreman returned to the formation.
Normally, that would be the end of the story. Not this time, however.
But moments later, North Carolina State Sen. Richard Burr, who had been on stage with Brice-O’Hara, jumped to his feet in time to catch a woman who also appeared to faint in the center of the front row.

Foreman spra ng into action again and helped Burr with the woman, later identified as Brenda Pulliam, the mother of Petty Officer Samuel Pulliam, who also was receiving an award.
The cause? Well, I expect Petty Officer Foreman planned it, trying to extend his moment in the limelight. The official story is different, however.
Officials said later they thought some aviation fuel spilled inside the hangar and may have led to the collapse of the two participants, who have fully recovered.
All's well that ends well, though.

In all seriousness, kudos to Petty Officer Foreman for being Semper Paratus. I'm sure a long career awaits him in the Coast Guard.

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