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‘You’re always on call.’ New River Marine honored for life-saving act

Lance Corporal Alyssa David was pinned with a commendation medal Friday for saving the life of a mother and her infant daughter after an accident involving a semi-truck.
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:15 PM EST
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M.C.A.S. NEW RIVER, N.C. (WITN) - Lance Corporal Alyssa David was off-duty when she came across a truck engulfed in smoke. Inside was a mother and her infant daughter.

“There weren’t any second thoughts or any second guessing about it,” said David, who was with her friend, an army reservist, at the time. “I was driving and I ran over some type of thing from the highway.”

It was late on a night in September. But it wasn’t too late to try and save their lives.

“The car was smoking a little bit,” said David. “The front of it was crushed in.”

She and her friend immediately began attempts to save them both.

“I checked her pulse to see if she was alive. And I could hear her faintly breathing as I moved closer,” said David. “Which was how I realized we wouldn’t be able to get her out.”

She yelled to bystanders to call for help for the two in the truck, as well as for the man in the semi they collided with. She learned months later they all made it out alive.

“Seeing something like that, I just had to help,” said David. “It was just a straight adrenaline rush.”

Her entire unit was there to watch her get a once in a lifetime award. She was pinned Friday with a commendation medal for her heroic actions on that night.

“These days, people take out their phone and video it, where she’s actually doing it,” said Lt. Col. Lee Hemming, David’s commander. “That’s just something we would expect from every Marine.”

It’s an award not typically given to military of David’s rank. Some Colonels work their entire career to get such an award, according to Hemming.

“You’re always on call, regardless of what happens,” said David. “You may not be at war, but you’re here protecting the citizens and fighting for this country.”

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