THIS is why it matters that we stand for our anthem… because of those who do — and did — serve so courageously under that flag.
What could easily have ended up as a horrific tragedy ended without any loss of life due to the quick actions of their neighbors… the marines.
The sprinkler and alarm systems that should have gone off to protect them didn’t function properly.
“No sprinklers went off. No nothing went off,” Watts said, echoing what a number of residents said about a lack of both sprinklers and smoke alarms.
Resident Linda Gray was leaving to go to Bible study when she heard banging on apartment doors.
“I heard all this noise, and they said get out,” she said.
These fine Americans are trained to stand strong facing the fires of war. But the call of duty doesn’t always come in the form you’d expect. They stand just as ready to protect the lives of their neighbors from a house fire as they do to protect the homeland from a hostile military.
Their neighbors happened to be in a Seniors’ Residence. Some of the residents were bedridden.
Capt. Trey Gregory was one of the first 10 Marines to race toward a burning senior-living facility in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday — and the teamwork he saw there is enough to get him choked up.
From junior enlisted Marines to the base commanding officer, the response was a display of level-headed professionalism and duty for the neighbors of Marine Barracks Washington, he told Military.com.
“Nobody was worried about ranks,” said Gregory, an aviation logistics officer by trade who’s currently serving as the Barracks’ security forces company executive officer. “The level of maturity, accountability and staying calm in the face of a very hectic and somewhat dangerous situation showed me that the training we do, day-in and day-out, plays a huge role.”
The three-alarm fire erupted in the Arthur Capper Senior Apartments at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, just behind the Barracks where Gregory’s team is based. Within minutes, the security force Marines were equipped with radios as they headed into the building to alert their neighbors, many of whom are elderly and can’t walk on their own.
“We knew we had people in there who needed help,” Gregory said. “The bottom floors weren’t too bad when we got in there, but that top floor got dicey.”
VIDEO: Marines run toward burning building to help rescue dozens of DC senior citizens trapped inside. "We're Marines, we answer the call every single time. This is what we do." pic.twitter.com/0i8y4uRwrT
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) September 21, 2018
“Some of the residents are bedridden or paralyzed, so we picked them up and threw them over our shoulders,” he said. “I remember carrying a paralyzed guy down the stairs with the colonel, a lieutenant and a gunnery sergeant. Everybody was just there to help.”
Gregory estimates the Marines made 30 or 40 trips in and out of the building. There were no deaths or life-threatening injuries reported in the 162-unit complex. D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Gregory Dean said Thursday that they’re looking into whether all of the fire alarms were functioning.
About 100 Marines from the Barracks eventually pitched in, some racing over with wheelchairs and stretchers. Marine logisticians also brought over food and water, so those moved out of smoke-filled units immediately had something to drink.
People are running toward the burning building pushing wheelchairs to rescue residents from the burning Arthur Capper Senior Apartments in D.C. U.S. Marines are also part of the rescue operation. pic.twitter.com/xZwKoBV9w8
— NBC4 Washington (@nbcwashington) September 19, 2018
Well done, all you glorious bastards!
Here’s a shirt for real men (and women, too):
Why be average? It’s so overrated.
Everyone does that.
If you don’t think so, add some more meat to your diet and read this while you wait for your steak to grill:
by Doug Giles
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