In May 2022, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Benjamin Frazier was driving across a bridge in Virginia when he saw a young man on the bridge’s ledge. He also saw that a woman was trying to talk to the man, while looking around for someone to help.

As so often happens when Marines see an emergency, Frazier instinctively moved toward the danger.

“It was just one of those sixth-sense moments,” said Frazier, an intelligence instructor at Marine Corps Detachment Dam Neck, Virginia.

According to a Marine Corps news story Frazier pulled his vehicle over and called 911. Then he made his way to the ledge of the bridge, where the man had pushed away the woman several times.

Frazier reached out and grabbed the suicidal man’s left arm and then used his body weight to keep the man from jumping. The man struggled to break free of Frazier’s grip.

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The two teetered close to the edge of the bridge. One wrong move could have sent both Frazier and the man on the ledge into the water below.

“I remember seeing the ocean,” Frazier recalled.

But Frazier managed to move the man away from the ledge. He then realized the man was also a Marine and began talking to him about military life to form a rapport with the man.

“I was a young Marine at one point in my career too,” Frazier said. “We talked about hometowns and how his younger siblings needed him as a mentor.”

When the first responders arrived, Frazier continued to take charge of the situation, making sure the fellow Marine was safe as he was escorted off the bridge.

On March 21, Frazier received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for stopping the other Marine from attempting to end his life.

The medal is generally awarded for heroism outside of combat. Other recent recipients include Cpl. Aidan J. Meyler-McAuliffe, who jumped into stormy seas off South Carolina to save a woman from drowning; a Marine Reserve lieutenant colonel – whose name was not released – who helped take down a human trafficking ring while he was waiting to take his Physical Fitness Test; and Staff Sgt. Derek Ferrari, detachment commander of Marine Security Guards during the 2023 evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.

When Frazier received the award, he stressed the need for Marines to look out for each other.

“As Marines, we need to hold the brotherhood and sisterhood principles in combat, to the garrison setting,” Frazier said.

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