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Meet The Soldier Who Saved Lives During The Deadly Seattle Amtrak Train Derailment
On Dec. 18, a brand new Amtrak train endured a horrific accident during its inaugural trip from Seattle to Portland, Oregon: Rocketing along a stretch of track outside Tacoma at nearly 50 mph over the designated speed limit, the powerful locomotive derailed over an interstate highway, plunging from an overpass across multiple traffic lanes, taking its passenger cars with it.
Second Lt. Robert McCoy, an Army medic assigned to the 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion,62nd Medical Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord just a few miles southwest of Tacoma, was driving along Interstate 5 when he saw the train fall from the overpass. “The train is going south and I’m just kind of driving, just driving,” McCoy told the local Fox News affiliate.
2nd Lt. Robert McCoy, soldier who helped save train passengers: "I couldn't afford to be scared, I couldn't afford to be shocked." pic.twitter.com/aTZQxDe6op
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 19, 2017
“I hear a loud noise and I look up and I see the train and it hits the concrete walls on the side and when it hits the walls — the walls kind of exploded — and the train just falls off.”
The scene was understandably chaotic. Unsuspecting passengers were catapulted from their seats, with survivors pinned beneath wreckage and trapped in bathrooms by the impact, screaming for help, the New York Times reports; one survivor told the newspaper that the incident “felt like the end of the world.”
But for McCoy, there was only one course of action: act.
The train plowed into three vehicles ahead of McCoy’s pickup truck, ejecting passengers over the highway. After stopping his truck, the soldier grabbed a CPR mask and tourniquet before rushing to aid survivors. (Representatives for Joint Base Lewis/McChord did not immediately respond to request for comment.)
There were individuals who had been ejected from the train onto the pavement,” McCoy said. “And so my first initial thought was, I don't know how stable this is. If this train continues to fall, it's gonna fall on these individuals."
After pulling survivors to safety, McCoy said, he and another volunteer rushed to evacuate one of the train cars suspended precariously over the highway, clambering onto the roof of a damaged semi-trailer truck. He told Fox News that "there were people yelling, there [were] people looking for each other, looking for loved ones."
At least three people were killed and around 100 were injured, according to National Transportation Safety Board officials. But the numbers could have been worse.
While local media have hailed McCoy as a hero, the soldier demurred: He was just doing what the Army trained him to do.
“I saw many people that were just paralyzed with fear and I don’t blame them at all,” McCoy told Fox News. "I couldn't afford to be scared, I couldn't afford to be shocked. I had to do what I am called to do, and focus and channel that, and help these people around me get to safety as best as possible."
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.