Camp LeJeune according to the Globe

Marine honored with bravery medal for heroism

Sergeant Diego R. Zuluaga of the Alpha Company, 6th Communication Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group was recently given a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism and bravery according to the Globe. His bravery was tested when he came upon the sight of a burning vehicle on Southern State Parkway in Roosevelt, New York on the morning of February 13th, 2011. Zuluaga came upon the accident barely seconds after it had happened. A vehicle had lost control and gone off an overpass into the highway below, struck a bridge embankment and exploded into flames. Three male occupants were trapped inside the burning vehicle. Zuluaga noted that when they came upon the accident, he told the radio operator of his unit, "When I saw the flames I said, ‘pull over, pull over! I heard God, someone help me. I was close to him, but because of the intense heat I couldn't get too close. All I kept thinking was get this guy out of there."

Zuluaga focused his attention on the passengers in the back of the vehicle and was able to pull the back seat passenger a safe distance away from the burning automobile. Paramedics arrived and transported the severely injured man to a local hospital. The victim later succumbed to his injuries. For risking his life to help the occupants in the vehicle, Zuluaga was presented with the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. The medal is given to those service members for bravery and heroism while risking your own life. Zuluaga is now part of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 12.2 which is preparing to deploy in support of the U.S. Africa Command. Lieutenant General John M. Paxton, commanding general of the II MEF, presented Zuluaga with the heroism award on Mach 7th 2012. Paxton noted, "Sgt. Zuluaga went above and beyond the call of duty performing such a selfless act, reflecting great credit upon him and upholding the highest traditions of the Maine Corps".