The Corps awarded Lance Cpl. Victor Padilla the and Corps Commendation Medal in a ceremony on April 21.
Padilla, a corrections specialist at Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston, S.C., had 10 days earlier prevented his friend, another , from hanging himself on the second-story catwalk of their barracks.
Padilla told the Corps Times the two had gone fishing earlier that day, and after returning to the barracks he saw his friend “moving around kinda quick, kinda upset.”
The reportedly had financial issues and had been disciplined months prior, adding to the strain.
Padilla found him hanging by two web belts that had been tied together.
“I asked him, ‘What are you doing?'” Padilla told the Corps Times. “He was semi responsive and that’s when I called my NCO, and that’s when everybody was called in. That’s when he went to the hospital.”
Chief Warrant 2 Ryan Cripe, detachment in charge aboard Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston, said Padilla “knew the on a much deeper level than anyone else and was there to take immediate action.”
“He jumped to the other side of the railing, where there is not really a foot hold, and put himself into a precarious position,” Cripe said. “He loosened the strangulation device the had placed on himself and got him out of that situation without further injury. If Padilla had been 30 seconds later he probably would have been unconscious.”
According to the Corps, “the and Corps Commendation Medal is reserved for sailors and who distinguish themselves through heroic or meritorious achievement.” It is rated just below the Bronze Star.
A 2014 Health Surveillance Center report showed that, after accidents, suicide was the second leading cause of death among active duty service personnel in 2012 and 2013.
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