On an early morning while heading to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for work, Cpl. Joseph Currey found himself rushing to aid the victims of a crashed ambulance on the side of a busy road. The Marine joined others at the scene as they quickly reacted to the crash and provided medical aid to the injured patient and paramedics.
Before Currey arrived, an ambulance took a sharp turn after a collision with a truck and flipped into a ditch. The ambulance, which was on its way to a local emergency room, was transporting a patient who had suffered a heart attack upon arrival at the scene. Currey, being certified at the time, executed CPR on the patient and aided the injured emergency response personnel in exiting the ambulance.
“It all happened so fast,” explained Currey. “I realized the ambulance was on its side and the first thing that dawned to me was, ‘well, their lights are on, so they must be transporting someone or they are going somewhere.’ I automatically assumed they were transporting someone because they were headed in the direction of the nearest hospital. I thought to myself, If there was someone in there, it must have been serious and this situation only made it worse.”
Currey is an air support operations operator with Marine Aviation Support Squadron 1 and will be shortly deploying with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his actions while witnessing and responding to the incident. Currey demonstrated his devotion to serving others as he placed the wellbeing of the injured personnel above his own.
“I joined the Marine Corps so I did not have to look back 70 years from now and regret not becoming a Marine and being part of something greater,” said Currey. “My favorite thing about the Corps is getting to help others. It’s a trait that was instilled in me while I was growing. My mother always went out of her way to help others in any way she could. If you help someone out, it all pays off in the long run.”
Currey joined the Corps alongside his step brother after working with his family in a telephone company after high school. He decided joining the Corps would allow him to serve his country and a title he would carry for the rest of his life.
“Being a Marine allows me to not only serve my country, but it also gives me many opportunities that being a civilian would not have given me,” said Currey. “Whether it’s a crash on the side of the road, or giving a fellow Marine a hand. We all come together for one another regardless of where we come from. The day of the crash, I knew some of the people helping with the crash were Marines even in civilian clothes. We all might not have known each other, or even know each other’s names now, but we all came together for something bigger than ourselves that day and to me, that’s what being a Marine means.”