Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A team of 15 National Guard soldiers wearing 40-pound packs on their backs marched in the Boston Marathon to honor service members who lost their lives to suicide or combat. When two bombs went off after they finished their race, "Tough Ruck" team members used their military training to aid the injured.
As Home Post reported Tuesday, Carlos Arredondo was at the Boston Marathon finish line to cheer on team "Tough Ruck," including one team member who marched in honor of his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Scott Arredondo, a Camp Pendleton Marine who was killed in the Iraq War. Photographs of the elder Arredondo aiding the wounded, donning a cowboy hat, have since gone viral around the globe.
First Lt. Steve Fiola, who helped organize the "Tough Ruck" team for the Boston Marathon, told Mother Jones that his soldiers knew just what to do when the blasts occurred:
"Myself and two other soldiers, my top two guys in my normal unit, crossed the street about 100 yards to the metal scaffoldings holding up the row of flags. We just absolutely annihilated the fence and pulled it back so we could see the victims underneath. The doctors and nurses from the medical tent were on the scene in under a minute. We were pulling burning debris off of people so that the medical personnel could get to them and begin triage."
First Sgt. Bernard Madore was another member of "Tough Ruck" who sprang into action after the explosions. He told the Military Times that although he served two deployments in Iraq, seeing bomb blasts on his home turf was shocking:
“To see it outside of a building that I know was horrible. I never thought I’d see something like that on our own grounds. When I walked away, it truly hit me.”