Decorated Marine Vet Dies Saving Drowning Teens

Photo via Facebook

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the family of retired Marine Master Sgt. Rodney Buentello, a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who drowned after rescuing two teens, in Bandera City, Texas, on June 8.

According to Marine Corps Times, Buentello was in Bandera City Park, about an hour northwest of San Antonio, when two teenagers became caught in the undertow of the Medina River.

“A female attempted to walk across the dam (in violation of city ordinance) she was washed off and caught in the undertow,” reads a statement that was released on the Bandera Marshal’s Office Facebook page soon after the incident. “A male teenager went into the water and quickly became caught as well.”

Buentello, who was visiting the park with his family, dove into the rushing waters and managed to save the teens before being dragged underwater himself. He drowned before rescuers could reach him.

Related: The Airman Who Gave His Life To Warn Others Of Insider Attack »

Now, family, friends, and complete strangers are rallying on behalf of Buentello’s wife and three sons — ages eight, nine, and 20.

“He was our fellow classmate and our friend so we are raising money to help his wife cover unexpected costs and the immediate care of his young children, as Rodney was the primary breadwinner for the family,” reads a statement on the GoFundMe page.

The statement goes on to explain that Buentello had attended high school in the San Antonio area before joining the Marines and serving one tour in Afghanistan and three in Iraq.

Buentello had also served as a recruiter in San Antonio and as a training chief and class instructor for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron in Iwakuni, Japan, according to Marine Corps Times.

The Bandera Marshal’s Office concluded its Facebook statement, which has gone viral, with the following epitaph: “Greater love hath no man, than to lay down his life for another. Semper Fidelis.”

The GoFundMe campaign has already raised more than $35,000 of its $50,000 goal.

Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)

U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.

However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Read More Show Less
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne

Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.

Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.

Read More Show Less
Joshua Yabut/Twitter

The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).

Read More Show Less