MARINE CORPS BASE, Hawaii (1/9/2012) — Two Marines with 3rd
Marine Regiment were presented with the Navy and Marine Corps Medal
during an award ceremony behind 3rd Marine Regiment Headquarters
building Jan. 6.
Gunnery Sgt. Lawrence Bostic and Capt.
Robert A. Christian are presented with the Navy and Marine Corps
Medal during an award ceremony behind 3rd Marine Regiment
Headquarters building aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Jan. 6, 2012.
They were awarded for their actions when they saved a drowning
Marine at Pyramid Rock Beach, on May 21, 2009. Photo by USMC Lance
Cpl. Jacob Barber
The medal is the highest decoration for non-combat
heroism awarded to Marines and sailors. Gunnery Sgt.
Lawrence Bostic and Capt. Robert A. Christian were both
presented the medals for their actions on May 21, 2009, when
they saved a drowning Marine at Pyramid Rock Beach at Marine
Corps Base Hawaii.
Bostic, a Whitmire, S.C., native,
is a wire chief with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd
Marine Regiment. Christian, a Huntsville, Ala., native, is a
ground intelligence officer with Headquarters and Service
Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.
and Marine Corps Medal is awarded to those who distinguish
themselves by heroism not involving acts of conflict with an
enemy. Typically, service members awarded with this medal
attempted to save a life by risking their own.
Nathan Nastase, commanding officer, 3rd Marine Regiment,
attended the ceremony to present the awards and speak on the
“These are great Marines who set the
perfect example for 3rd Marine Regiment,” said Nastase
following the ceremony. “The heroic actions carried out by
these two men displayed the true meaning of being a Marine
on and off duty. They are a great example to follow not only
in this regiment but in the entire Marine Corps.”
When asked about saving a Marine's life nearly three years
ago, Christian simply replied he was at the right place at
the right time.
“I was just spending a day at the
beach with my family when I heard somebody screaming for
help,” Christian said. “At first I thought it was people
playing around, but then I looked and saw a man struggling
as if he was caught in a rip current. After that I didn't
even think about it, I just ran into the water to get him
Christian was the first one in the water to
help the drowning man.
He calmed the man and they
started to swim back to shore.
crossing back through the surf, Christian began to struggle
himself. He fought the tide with the weight of the victim on
his shoulders. Bostic, also spending the day at the beach
with his family, made his way through the water after seeing
both men struggling. He offered his body board to keep the
victim afloat. Then Bostic and Christian assisted the man to
shore and performed first aid until lifeguards arrived.
“I didn't want to see anything bad happen to anybody
that day,” Bostic said. “I saw Capt. Christian in the water
and immediately ran over there to assist him. We were just
doing what we knew was right. That's it.”
about being recognized, both men said they were just looking
out for their own.
“It was an honor to be awarded,”
Christian said. “But as Marines, it's embedded in us to
watch each other's back and look out for each other. That's
what they teach us since day one, and that's what happened
during this incident.”
Bostic said he was just glad
that everything turned out ok and nobody was injured.
“It's very humbling to know that our command is
recognizing this and awarding us for it,” Bostic said. “I'm
happy to have this award, but even more happy that the
Marine turned out to be ok and nobody was hurt.”
By USMC Lance Cpl. Jacob Barber
Marine Corps Base Hawaii –
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