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Marines Save Neighbor's Baby From Storm Wreckage

By Megan Cassell
Published On: Apr 17 2011 03:54:04 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2011 02:08:03 AM CDT
ONSLOW COUNTY -

A 23-month-old boy is alive, but in critical condition after four men from his neighborhood dug him out of the rubble of his house in the middle of the storm.

"It was crazy," said Sergeant Gregory Shafer, "everything was happening so fast, it was raining outside, there were no lights, the only time we could see anything was when the lightening was flashing."

Shafer and his neighbors, Sergeant Jarred Boone and Lance Corporal Thomas Dickerson, ran into the storm to help their neighbors.

"Greg came over and beat on the door and said people were hurt," said Boone, "so all of us barefooted ran over to see if anyone was o.k. Greg Superman dove through a window, went through the house to make sure everybody in the house was o.k., if there was anybody in there."

The wife of a Marine stood up out of the rubble and cried out for them to look for her baby.

"I started looking for stuff on the ground that was, you know, items for a baby and I started getting to where I could see a lot of baby stuff and I found the crib," said Shafer, "and when I lifted the wall up, there was the baby right there."

"And then some guy," added Boone, "we don't know who he is, ran over and picked up the baby and brought the baby back to do first medical stuff needed until emergency showed up."

With glass and nails in their feet and legs, they rushed through the rain and hail to get the 23-month-old and his mother into an emergency vehicle and on to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

"The ony thing I thought of is, what if it was my daughter?" said Dickerson, "So I didn't even think about what was going on."

They continued to run to all the neighbors' houses, making sure everyone else was o.k. Now, their neighborhood is destroyed, similar to the war zones these Marines have faced.

"When you go over there," said Dickerson, "you kind of expect for something like this to happen, but when you're back here, you don't expect for anything like this to happen at all."

Unarmed and unprepared, they were heroes who stood toe-to-toe with this tornado.

"There was no way to stop this at all," said Boone.

The men have been keeping up with the child's health. Right now he's in critical condition at Pitt Memorial. He has a broken leg, collapsed lung, broken ribs, and is on life support. With any luck, the heroic actions of these Marines may have saved this child's life.