Marine thanked for saving life of Okinawa teen
GINOWAN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Kanami Oshiro, a 15-year-old student at Ginowan High School, and her mother, Masayo Oshiro, visited Camp Kinser July 10 to thank 1st. Sgt Andre S. Guay after he provided Kanami with lifesaving aid following an accident on Route 58, Okinawa, Japan.
While driving, Guay noticed Kanami Oshiro lying in the road June 16, and used his own vehicle to block traffic before moving to her side to provide assistance and first aid.
“When I first saw her laying on the ground, I was in disbelief that nobody had stopped yet, she was just lying in the road,” said Guay, the company first sergeant for Food Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 37. “The first thing to do is stop traffic, so I pulled my car in and blocked the lane, and then I ran out to her to assess the situation. When I saw that she had a gash in the forehead, the only thing I could do was apply pressure to try to stop the bleeding. I was thinking, ‘I wish there was more I could do.’ I just felt kind of helpless because there was nothing more I could do except wait for the ambulance to show up. I was just hoping she would make it; that was my main concern.”
Guay’s command was surprised and proud to hear the news of its Marine’s actions, according to Capt. Rebecca L. Wilkinson, the commanding officer of Food Service Company, CLR-37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Hopefully Marines learn from this example and if someone is in need, help them,” said Wilkinson. “Too many people were driving by from what (Guay) was saying, and that was shocking because (it is hard to) imagine if you were that person in the road and people just kept driving by.”
A liaison with the Okinawa Prefectural Police contacted Wilkinson on behalf of Kanami and her mother to set up an opportunity to come and thank Guay in person. He did not want anything in return for his actions.
Hopefully this experience further demonstrates that Marines care about the community and are eager to help Okinawa residents during a time of need, according to Guay, a Sainte-Clotilde de Beauce, Quebec, native.
“We, as Marines, are here to help the society, be good neighbors, and do the right thing,” said Guay. “The main thing is that the little girl is alive and well. All weekend I was thinking about her and hoping she would recover. It made me feel great to see her walking about, no broken bones or anything, she made a full recovery. I’m happy and ecstatic about that.”
The mother and daughter came out to thank Guay in person. They brought gifts for Guay, as well as tokens of appreciation for everyone in attendance. The daughter also received a gift from Guay’s unit.
“I appreciate the opportunity to give thanks to the person who saved my daughter’s life,” said Masayo Oshiro, a Ginowan, Okinawa, native. “I have so much appreciation for the man who saved her life. I’m so glad I can thank him the day before he goes back to the U.S. It is very important for my daughter to thank him for saving her life, and as a mother, I have to come here to do that.”
“I was very fortunate Guay helped me and saved my life,” said Kanami Oshiri. “Because of him, I survived and didn’t lose my life, and I have so much appreciation for that. All I can say is thank you. I can’t find any other words, his actions where indescribable.”
“For them to come out and thank me personally was more than I ever expected,” said Guay. “I am very grateful for how much respect they have; it was somewhat of a shock. It shows how much they care, how much it meant to them. A simple thank you would have been more than enough for me, but for them to actually come here and thank me personally, both the mother and the daughter, means a lot.”