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Gravdigr 12-11-2014 05:00 PM

Awesome People
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We have all kinds of 'people' threads, but, not one for awesome people. Well, now we do.

To start the thread off right, I'd like you to meet Cameron Lyle, if you haven't heard of him before.

Attachment 49815

He is an Awesome People™.


Cameron Lyle, a Division I college athlete in New Hampshire, has decided to shorten his athletic career for a chance to save a life.

The University of New Hampshire senior will donate bone marrow Wednesday, a decision that abruptly ends his collegiate athletic career but one that he calls a "no brainer."

Lyle, 21, had his mouth swabbed to join a bone marrow registry two years ago in the cafeteria at school. He didn't think any more of it until a few months ago when he got a phone call that he might be a match. He took more tests and discovered a month later that he was a perfect match.

"When they first told me, I was like, 'OK, cool. I'm definitely going to do it,'" Lyle said. "After that I kind of went to tell my coach and then I realized slowly that my season was over."

Lyle's main events are the shot put and the hammer throw.

"It's just a sport," he said. "Just because it's Division I college level doesn't make it any more important. Life is a lot more important than that, so it was pretty easy."

Lyle competed in his last competition Saturday and said it was "kind of emotional." His teammates rallied around him to cheer him on.

The person who needs his help is a young man with leukemia. Lyle was told that the man only has six months to live without the transplant.

Lyle of Plaistow, N.H., said he had been told there was a one in five million chance for a non-family match.

"It was kind of a no-brainer for a decent human," Lyle said. "I couldn't imagine just waiting. He could have been waiting for years for a match. I'd hope that someone would donate to me if I needed it."

After he got the call, Lyle knew he needed to speak to his mom and his coach.

"My son and I have a pretty funny rapport together so when he tells me things, it's usually in humor," mom Chris Sciacca said. "He simply sent me a text that said, 'So I guess I have a chance to save someone's life.'"

The two sat down and talked through the decision, but Sciacca said it was ultimately a decision that "came from his heart."

"We talked about in five or 10 years, is he going to look back and say, 'Damn, I wish I went to that track conference,' or is he going to say, 'Damn, I saved someone's life," she said.

"I know my son very well and I know where his heart is and I knew that he would make the right decision.

"He made his decision. He gave up his college season to do this. He's a gentle giant," Sciacca said of her 6-foot-2-inch, 255-pound son. "He'll do anything for anybody."

What Lyle was most nervous about was telling Coach Jim Boulanger, who has been his coach for four years.

Boulanger said that a nervous Lyle came into his office, shut the door and told him he wouldn't be able to throw next month at the America East Conference championship for which he had been training.

When Boulanger asked why, Lyle told him and found that his coach was completely supportive.

"Here's the deal," Boulanger told Lyle. "You go to the conference and take 12 throws or you could give a man three or four more years of life. I don't think there's a big question here. This is not a moral dilemma. There's only one answer."

Boulanger said he's "very proud" of his athlete.

"He's very approachable. He's very funny," Boulanger said. "I don't have any doubt that he's very compassionate and it was just a given that he'd do it.

"You can't ask for any more out of a person than to help another person," he said.

Lyle's mother is just as proud.

"I am beyond words proud. He is my hero," Sciacca said. "When your children inspire you to be better people, you know it's come full circle and he's inspired his mom to be a better circle."

Lyle will make the bone marrow donation soon at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. A needle will be used to withdraw liquid bone marrow from his pelvic bone. After the surgery, he will not be allowed to lift more than 20 pounds over his head, which rules out all his athletic events.

Lyle and the man have to remain anonymous to each other for at least a year, but can then sign consent forms to release their identities if they want.

"I really want to meet him," Lyle said, "and I hope he wants to meet me."
~from ABCNews, April 23, 2013

Gravdigr 12-11-2014 05:06 PM

1 in 5,000,000...

lumberjim 12-11-2014 05:29 PM

I hope he plays the lottery and wins. BIG

classicman 12-11-2014 05:50 PM


xoxoxoBruce 12-11-2014 06:39 PM

Here's an awesome...

Vance T Barfoot, (1919-2012), made the news at age 90 when his homeowners association told him he couldn't put up a flagpole. He did anyway. They told him to take it down. He told them to go pound sand. They backed down when the press got wind of a Medal of Honor winner being denied the right to fly his flag every day.

May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy, Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in 1940, set out alone to flank German machine gun positions that were raining hell on his buddies. He picked his way through a minefield and proceeded to single-handedly take out three enemy machine gun positions, returning with 17 prisoners.
Then after lunch, he took on and took out three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

Barfoot retired as a Colonel after serving in Korea and Vietnam

WIKI says

Having grown up in the strictly segregated south, Barfoot was noted for a comment he made in 1945 regarding African-Americans. Mississippi senator and Ku Klux Klan member Theodore G. Bilbo asked Barfoot if he had much trouble with the African-American soldiers he had served with during the war. To Bilbo's embarrassment, Barfoot responded, "I found out after I did some fighting in this war that the colored boys fight just as good as the white boys...I've changed my idea a lot about colored people since I got into this war and so have a lot of other boys from the south".

Gravdigr 12-12-2014 08:08 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U.S. Army MSG Roy P. Benavidez:

Attachment 49821


Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. BENAVIDEZ United States Army, distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.

On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire.

Sergeant BENAVIDEZ was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crew members and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team.

Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader.

When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant BENAVIDEZ was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant BENAVIDEZ mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt.

He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from behind by an enemy soldier. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, he sustained additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary.[4][note 1] He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded.

Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant BENAVIDEZS' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.

sexobon 12-12-2014 03:05 PM

I met Roy, professionally, though I didn't know him personally. He was a guest speaker at graduation ceremonies at Fort Sam Houston, TX (Army Medical Department Headquarters and campus) in which area (San Antonio) Roy was retired, now buried, and where I was assigned as an SF medical instructor for one of the medical phases (didactic) of the Special Forces Qualification Course teaching SF medical specialist candidates.

I've met five Medal of Honor recipients, attended an NCO breakfast with one and even had Easter dinner with another (short story for another time). They didn't know me from Adam; but, they all showed humility and graciousness.

footfootfoot 12-12-2014 08:00 PM

I'd be willing to bet arrogance and a gargantuan ego don't leave enough room for putting others first and thus being able do perform these feats of heroism.

sexobon 12-12-2014 09:43 PM

Short Story
You'd win that bet. Those are enduring traits.

While I was a student at the Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, CA, I was stuck there without enough time to fly home for Easter. As the ranking NCO I had administrative duties as a student leader; so, I put on my dress uniform and went to Easter dinner in the enlisted mess hall to ensure everything was going well for the other students there.

As I was sitting down at a table with my dinner tray, a full colonel came into the enlisted mess wearing his dress uniform accompanied by a woman in civilian attire. They went through the food service line; then, paused and looked around until he saw the SF insignia on my uniform. They came over to my table and he asked if they could join me.

As I invited them to sit down I saw Donlon on his nametag. It rang a bell as the name was required learning during SF training on unit lineage and historically key personnel: a *Captain Donlon was the first SF Medal of Honor recipient. I immediately looked to the top ribbon on his uniform and there it was, blue field with 5 white stars, the Medal of Honor.

I tasked a student at the next table with rounding up all the SFers present in the mess hall to join me with our distinguished guests. They stopped in the middle of their dinners, up and moved their dining tables together with ours and were appreciative of Colonel and Mrs. Donlon, there for language training themselves, spending their holiday with the troops. It's about the only time I wished I was better at small talk because I was embarrassingly at a loss for words.

*TRIVIA - There's a one word disparity between what the award citation says and what Special Forces Schools teaches in the qualification course. That disparity is actually pointed out during training. It's long been one of the ways those who actually went through the SF qualification course could identify those who just claim they did in three questions or less.

footfootfoot 12-12-2014 11:03 PM

I would be humbled and I'm sure tongue tied in his presence.

xoxoxoBruce 12-13-2014 12:11 AM

I would ask any of them, When you were doing what they gave you the CMoH for doing, were you telling yourself it was for God & Country, or to benefit friends and yourself?

I'd bet a lot it was a kill them before they kill my friends and myself. Someone had to do it and they were the one who stepped up because of happenstance & confidence, but not their Eagle Scout Oath, Mom's apple pie, or baseball.

sexobon 12-13-2014 12:43 AM

There've been a number of studies on the psychology behind heroism in combat. Essentially, they do it to save the people they're with, enabled by a strong sense of responsibility for those who are dependent on them. Confidence has less to do with it as some have gone into those situations expecting to be killed; but, they still had to try. They all know part of it is happenstance, that there are posthumous awards, and that there are comparable unwitnessed acts that never received official recognition.

xoxoxoBruce 12-13-2014 01:16 AM

It's easy to believe for every Medal of Honor winner there's at least a hundred equally impressive actions going unrecognized. I've read a few stories about people's actions that were nominated for medals, but shot down. Not just the Medal of Honor, but lessor decorations too. I'd read it and wonder how in hell they made that determination. :rolleyes:

sexobon 12-13-2014 01:44 AM

That's why Obama had Medal of Honor recommendations that were declined reassessed and why other decorations don't mean much outside of the military.

There's a similar phenomenon with the characterization of military service. The federal government issues discharge papers both with and without the type of discharge on it. In some states it's unlawful for an employer to ask for a job applicant's type of discharge (honorable>---<dishonorable).

xoxoxoBruce 12-13-2014 02:07 AM

Do they still do "general" discharges too?

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