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.

Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class, Jennifer Rooney, who was immediately promoted after selection through the Meritorious Promotion Program, was pinned in a ceremony Sept. 20, 2019, by her father, Robert Rooney, and grandfather, John Rooney. (U.S. Marine Corps/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina)

A U.S.S. Manchester, CL-83, hat firmly tucked on his head, John Ronney, pierced the collar of his granddaughter, Jennifer Rooney's new rank during a special pinning ceremony at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on Sept. 25.

By Rooney's side was his son and Jennifer's father Robert, a Navy veteran. Together, three Navy veterans brought together for military tradition.

"They are the two people who taught me everything I needed to know about the Navy," said Jennifer.

Read More Show Less

CAMP PENDLETON — The military prosecution of a Coast Guardsman accused of murder began Wednesday with a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.

Read More Show Less

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.

Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.

Read More Show Less

President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.

It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.

The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

Read More Show Less