A Marine from Maryland who drowned two years ago saving another Marine’s life has been honored for his heroism.
Lance Cpl. Corey Staten was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal — the highest honor for non-combat bravery — in a ceremony last week in Baltimore.
“It’s hard to be a hero. It takes a lot,” his father Walter Dukes told Fox 45 Baltimore, which covered the ceremony.
“This achievement, even though he’s looking down on us, is greater than anything I can ever experience,” Dukes said. “It’s bittersweet. But again, I’m so very, very proud to say that he was my son.”
“It’s like he’s finally getting that recognition. He wasn’t looking for recognition, but he’s getting recognition,” said Nancy Staten, the Marine’s mother, according to the station.
It was the Fourth of July in 2018 when Staten and four other Marines decided to go swimming at the Fort Leonard Wood military post in Missouri where they were training.
The medal citation says that “without hesitation or regard to his own personal safety” Staten jumped into the river when he saw one of the other Marines struggling, Stars and Stripes reported Friday.
But the current pulled him under and he never resurfaced.
The other Marine did not drown, the paper reported.
“I’m so proud of him because he just acted unconsciously,” Dukes told Fox 45. “He just went in and his main concern was to save that person’s life, Because how many people are willing to do that? To sacrifice themselves for someone else’s life?”