Four Marines receive prestigious honor for heroic lifesaving act in 2018

CHERRY POINT, N.C. (WITN) - Four Cherry Point Marines received a prestigious award Tuesday for their actions on Atlantic Beach in June of 2018.

During a ceremony Tuesday morning, the four 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marines were awarded the highest non-combat award one can earn, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, in front of their fellow Marines, their families and the family they rescued from a rip current in 2018.

The Joy family was caught in a rip current at Atlantic Beach in 2018.

These Marines helped bring to shore all four family members, including two young girls. Unfortunately, their father Austin Joy did not survive. The Joy family says they now consider these four men as part of their family.

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is "awarded to individuals who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism," including lifesaving and attempted lifesaving acts at the risk of one's own life.