Marine Survived 2 Tours in Iraq Only to Die Saving a Friend in Kansas

flag half staffEvery Monday morning, my Facebook feed fills up with people moaning that it's just not fair that weekends are so short. I'll tell you what's not fair. A veteran of the US Marines reportedly pulled a friend from the fiery wreckage of a plane crash in Kansas this weekend. And then he died.

Austin Anderson survived two tours of duty in Iraq. He was already a hero in my book. And now, at 27, he's gone.


Don't get me wrong. Austin Anderson died with honor. He died doing exactly what it is the Marines are all about.

He was on the plane that was carrying five people from Oral Roberts University to a Christian youth rally in Iowa when it crashed in southwest Kansas. Thanks to Anderson, only four of the five died that day. He sprang into action and grabbed 22-year-old Hannah Luce, pulling her to safety. Both Luce and Anderson were transported from the scene to a hospital, but there the Marine succumbed to the burns that covered 90 percent of his body. The 22-year-old, on the other hand, is in critical condition ... but alive.

That right there? That is not fair. Austin Anderson was doing everything right, and he paid the ultimate price for it. It's what our real-life superheroes do every day: military, police, firemen, ambulance corps workers. But we don't think about that much. We think about how much it stinks that we aren't able to sleep in on a Monday morning.

Well, let me tell you, I am thankful for my Monday morning here in America. I'm thankful we still have real heroes who make sure it happens. Heroes like Austin Anderson.

Who is YOUR hero?


Image via US Army Africa/Flickr

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