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This NASCAR Driver And Naval Officer Helped Save A Family From Their Burning Minivan
Jesse Iwuji didn’t just pass by. He didn’t rubberneck or gawk. When he saw a family on the side of the road, and their minivan on fire, he immediately lept into action.
And just in the nick of time:
Safety safety safety guys and girls. I saw a small little fire underneath this family of 4’s van and I knew right then it was about to be bad news. I’m glad I stopped and got them away because they were still worried about getting stuff out the car. Things went from small to bad pic.twitter.com/av6C7j76Nd
— Jesse Iwuji (@Jesse_Iwuji) June 25, 2018
On June 24, Iwuji was on his way home from work — which for him meant a six-hour drive back from the Sonoma Raceway in California after a day of high-speed left-turns as a NASCAR driver — when he saw the stranded vehicle and a family of four, including two small children, on the side of a highway. A small fire was burning underneath as fluid dripped from the van's undercarriage.
"I saw that a pretty bad situation was about to erupt pretty quick," Iwuji told Task & Purpose by phone.
After pulling onto the shoulder of the road, Iwuji’s training in his other job, as a lieutenant and surface warfare officer in the Navy Reserves, came into play. "We’re always taught: ship, shipmate, self," he told T&P.;
“It just becomes second nature,” the 30-year-old Naval Academy graduate explained in an interview with NASCAR. “I’ve noticed any time there’s ever any situation on the side of the road that could be a dangerous situation, I don’t even have to think twice. I just stop and see what I can do to help. I just try to do my part.”
Knowing how quickly a small burn can go from bad to worse, Iwuji approached the family, and after a failed attempt to push the vehicle away from the fire underneath, he ushered them a safe distance away — though it took some haranguing to convince them to leave their belongings, he told NASCAR.
Moments later, the car was a fiery wreck as the blaze spread from the engine to the front seats, before engulfing the back and setting off the fuel cell.
While Iwuji’s intervention was critical, it belied a more unsettling concern: If he hadn’t stopped, would anyone else have? Hopefully the answer is yes, and there are scores of videos and accounts of Good Samaritans doing just that to back that hope up.
Ultimately, Iwuji said that’s what he hopes people will take away from the incident: Not that someone else will come along, but that you can.
“At the end of the day it’s about doing the right thing when you see people in need,” Iwuji posted on Twitter on June 27. “Anyone could have stopped like I did and helped, I’m no one extraordinary, just decided to do the right thing.”
UPDATE: 6/28/2018; 5:42 PM EST; This story has been updated with additional information from Navy Lt. Jesse Iwuji.
Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."