MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal was awarded to Lance Cpl. Victor Padilla aboard Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston, S.C., April 21.
Padilla, a corrective specialist stationed at the Brig, received the medal for saving his best friend and fellow Marine from a suicide attempt, April 11.
Padilla said he had dropped his friend off at the barracks and made plans to meet at his friend’s room later that night. When Padilla arrived at the room, the Marine was not there.
He sensed that something was wrong and went looking for his friend. Padilla found him hanging from the walkway balcony.
"It was just immediate action after that," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Cripe, Marine detachment officer in charge aboard Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston. "He jumped to the other side of the railing, where there is not really a foot hold, and put himself into a precarious position. He loosened the strangulation device the Marine had placed on himself and got him out of that situation without further injury."
The Marine was immediately transported to the hospital for evaluation, and received further care at a mental health facility. He has returned to work and is on a plan to address his mental health state.
Padilla’s quick thinking and reflexes prevented anything worse form happening that night, said Cripe.
"If Padilla had been 30 seconds later he probably would have been unconscious," Cripe said.
The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal is reserved for sailors and Marines who distinguish themselves through heroic or meritorious achievement. Padilla merits this award for his swift action in saving a fellow Marine from harm.
"I’m thankful we have Marines like Padilla. He knew the Marine on a much deeper level than anyone else and was there to take immediate action," said Cripe.